‘FOOLS FOR POETRY’
NINE ACTORS INTERPRET THE WORK OF NINE POETS IN SPECIAL SOMOS-TAOS ART MUSEUM COLLABORATION
COVER: BRUCE MCINTOSH OF METTA THEATRE, one of the organizers of the “Mix and Match: Fools for Poetry” event this week at the Taos Art Museum. Photo by Tempo editor Rick Romancito
National Poetry Month, celebrated each April since 1996, begins with the day traditionally consecrated to fools.
The Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) kicks off a month of poetic events by pairing nine Taos poets with nine Taos actors in “Mix & Match: Fools for Poetry” Sunday (April 1), 4-6 p.m., in the Fechin Studio at Taos Art Museum, 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
The event is the brainchild of poet, journalist and SOMOS’ 2018 Poetry Month Curator Ariana Kramer. “Thinking outside the box, it occurred to me that we have this great theater community, actors who know how to bring words to life. We invited poets who we thought might be willing to try something different: to have actors interpret their work on stage, rather than reading their own work themselves. Each poet was matched with an actor, and the actors are in rehearsal now.”
The poets are John Biscello, Judith Thompson, Kate O’Neill, Margery Reading, Mike Burwell, Branwyn Holroyd, Ned Dougherty, Phyllis Hotch, and the late artist-poet Anthony Hassett.
“The poetry, which will be showcased, expresses a range of forms, topics and emotions, from hilariously funny to very serious,” Kramer said. “The topics cover everything from the Pacific Ocean to dogs, geology, love and death. And the emotions. Well, at our first rehearsal we laughed and wept. Poetry has an impact on the human soul. That is what this project keeps bringing home to me. Poetry has an impact. We need to let it in. I think this group of actors is doing just that. They are going to set fire to these poems. I can’t wait to witness it.”
For the selection of actors, Kramer sought input from actor, director and Metta Theatre founder Bruce McIntosh. “He’s helping with the directing, suggested some of the actors, and is reading one of the poets himself.”
The other actors involved are Ben Teitelbaum, Judah Botzer, Charlotte Keefe, Irene Loy, Judy Kasper, Julie Dougherty, Tenney Walsh and William Hall.
Cindy Atkins at the Fechin heard about the project and offered the use of the studio space. “The Taos Art Museum at Fechin House is thrilled to be hosting two of the SOMOS poetry events in Fechin’s Studio,” Atkins said. “Nicolai Fechin loved all forms of art and would have enjoyed seeing his studio space being shared by the community to celebrate and engage the arts.”
CHARLOTTE KEEFE, actor