Easier Said than Done: Prof. Daniel Roy Connelly Directs 13 New Online Monologues

Professor Daniel Roy Connelly

Professor Daniel Roy Connelly

The English Theatre of Rome is proud to present 13 brand new original monologues directed by Professor Daniel Roy Connelly. The monologues will be featured on The English Theatre of Rome Youtube channel every Monday and Thursday at 9pm from June through mid-July.

Actors were given free rein under the rubric of  Easier Said Than Done to write and perform his/her own monologue. The topic of the monologues range “from rockstars, to freedom fighters, to cancer survivors, to stalkers, to disappointed parents, to time traveling artists,” said Connelly, and they are delivered by first-time writer/performers as well as by more experienced actors from the Rome acting community.

What prompted the idea?
Connelly: The extreme conditions of Italy’s lockdown forced us to take The English Theatre of Rome’s stage monologue show online. Working with a group of 13 actors, ages 25 – 80, some writing and performing for the first time, was the perfect antidote to enforced solitude. To direct such talented writers and performers over the last couple of months has been inspiring, exciting, and, chiefly, uplifting in these down-trodden times.

What were the challenges of directing remotely?
Connelly: During lockdown it was much easier to develop the actors’ writing than to direct their work. Directing remotely is something of a trial. For me, what is crucial is to see the space that exists around an actor and the physical possibilities this allows for. This is impossible remotely. We were also challenged to work with zero budget on phone cameras. Notwithstanding many obstacles, I am very proud that my actors have been able to bring some purpose and meaning to a very difficult few months in Rome.

Daniel Roy Connelly teaches English at John Cabot University, has directed theatre on three continents, and was until 2010 the Artistic Director of Zuloo Theatre in Shanghai, where his production of David Henry Hwang’s ‘M Butterfly’ was forced to close down by the Chinese secret police. He is also a published poet and playwright for which he has won several international prizes. In Fall 2020, Prof. Connelly will be teaching EN 245 Shakespeare.