Sonnet Play weaves more than 40 of Shakespeare’s sonnets into a modern tale of infatuation, love, betrayal, infidelity, and forgiveness, proving that the human heart has not changed in the 400 years since Shakespeare penned his famous sequence. Presented in an ultra-intimate style, Sonnet Play takes the audience on an personal journey of the heart told in a modern context. The story is clear and relevant to modern ears, and audience members serve as privileged confidantes rather than passive onlookers. During one talk back, one patron called the experience “Relentlessly intimate!” Indeed, the Sonnets’ through line of exploring the basic human need for connection is brought to startling life as Mr. Cooper creates a connection with each audience member throughout the performance. The result is a powerful piece of theatre that leaves audiences marveling at the raw emotional force of these eternal poems.
(55-minute performance followed by an audience Q & A)
Brian Myers Cooper is a New York City-based actor, as well as a writer, director, acting teacher and career coach. His performing career spans 25 years, covering plays, musicals, and concert work, with performances in New York City and all fifty states. He has coached his clients to jobs on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours, and major regional theaters. He serves on the National Council and Eastern Regional Board of Actor’s Equity Association, where he has spend more than a decade advocating for his fellow actors with tireless activism. In addition, he serves as a trustee of the Equity-League Pension & Health Trust Funds. He is the proud holder of a BA in Music Education (vocal and instrumental) from WLSC (’88).
Technical Requirements: Sonnet Play works best in the round, or in three-quarter thrust theaters. Actual playing area required can be as small at 10’ x 15’, preferably with audience seating all around the playing area. Alternative spaces work VERY well: dance and rehearsal studios are ideal (Sonnet Play was originally conceived for such a space), so long as the room is windowless, or the windows can be completely blocked to achieve a true blackout.
Lighting requirements are minimal and can be as simple as normal overhead room lighting that can be turned on and off on cue.
Other physical requirements: a bench (a standard black piano bench or two rehearsal boxes work fine); a large stationary, full-length wall mirror, measuring at least 6’ across. Depending on the playing space, a suitably sized amplified speaker may be needed for sound cues run from a computer.
A Stage Manager is required to perform the show; I can train a qualified local stage manager if necessary.