‘FOOLS FOR PO­ETRY’

NINE AC­TORS IN­TER­PRET THE WORK OF NINE PO­ETS IN SPE­CIAL SOMOS-TAOS ART MU­SEUM COL­LAB­O­RA­TION

Tempo - - CONTENTS - BY LAURA BULKIN

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.”

KATHARINE EGLI

CHAR­LOTTE KEEFE, ac­tor

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