SOLOs: Episode 5 – Tenor Saxophonist Travis Laplante performs Dissolving Mirror

New Amsterdam Records recording artist and frequent Yellow Barn contributor Travis Laplante performs his composition Dissolving Mirror in SOLOs Episode 5. Filmed on the Hooker-Dunham stage, Laplante’s performance premieres simultaneously on BCTV and YouTube at 7:30 PM on Friday, Feb. 26.

Rolling Stone Magazine describes Laplante’s tenor saxophone artistry as “head-spinning” with “flights of circular breathing” combined with “prayerful lyricism” and cites his album Human among its selection of the “currents that shaped the jazz genre this past year and the must-hear releases that exemplified them.”

“Travis is an amazing performer. His improvisational saxophone ranges from sounding like the wind wafting through the forest to the haunting melody of a love song to the roar of a tempest. It’s hard to believe that all this music comes from a single instrument played live on stage,” says Jon Mack, director of the Hooker-Dunham Theater.

Travis Laporte performs Dissolving Mirror, from SOLOs Episode 5, Austin Rice, Videographer
Travis Laplante performs Dissolving Mirror, from SOLOs Episode 5, Austin Rice, Videographer

SOLOs is a collaborative production of the Hooker-Dunham and the Rock River Players designed to bring creativity to the fore in this challenging time for performing artists and audiences. “It’s a pleasure to see the talents of so many people combine to create authentic performances. The outpouring of talent and the ability to reach a wide audience both locally and internationally is deeply rewarding,” says Mack.

Coming up next for SOLOs is “Episode 6: Originals.” Bahman Mahdavi, who produced this episode, describes it as “our most ambitious undertaking yet with all original material and enhanced production values.”

SOLOs “Episode 7: Sense and Nonsense” follows. It combines “challenging the nonsense of narrow gender stereotypes with the delightful nonsense of Lewis Carroll’s poems,” says Mack.

Links to the Premiere will be posted on the Hooker-Dunham ( HookerDunham.org), Rock River Players (RockRiverPlayers.org) and BCTV (brattleborotv.org) websites.

All performances are free.

CONTACT: Jon Mack info@HookerDunham.org
Landline: 802-348-7159
Cell: 516-698-1069

SOLOs, Episode 4: William Forchion’s “Spirit Dance, A conversation with the ancestors”

BRATTLEBORO William “Bill” Forchion takes us on a philosophical and spiritual journey in “Spirit Dance: A conversation with the ancestors” in Episode 4 of SOLOs, a co-production of the Hooker-Dunham Theater and The Rock River Players. The Hooker-Dunham and the Rock River Players are proud to have the opportunity to present Forchion’s unique show during Black History Month.

William Forchion in  "Spirit Dance, A conversation with the ancestors"
William Forchion in “Spirit Dance, A conversation with the ancestors”

Forchion’s “Spirit Dance” premiers on February 5 at 7:30pm on YouTube and Brattleboro Community Television (Channel 1075) with an Q&A immediately following at 8:25 via zoom. The link to the YouTube Premiere is https://youtu.be/3ErgenAust8. To get the zoom invitation, please email info@hookerdunham.org. Information and links are also available on the Hooker-Dunham website (hookerdunham.org).

As a talented circus performer, Bill Forchion has performed with the Cirque du Soleil among many others. In addition to being an actor and filmmaker, Bill has long been a philosophical writer as seen in his book and his one-person show, “Billosophy.”

According to Hooker-Dunham Director, Jon Mack,“The SOLOs series is a bit of a play on words, since it is the effort of many people working together. This is a period in our lives where all forms of art are needed more than ever, but in person attendance isn’t viable. Local actors have connected with local directors to create excellent solo performances rehearsed and filmed on the Hooker-Dunham Theater stage. Many of our area’s directors have taken on pieces including Jessica Gelter, Christopher Coutant, Karla Baldwin, Annie Landenberger, Adrienne Major, Carrie Kidd, Michael Nethercott as well as Bahman Mahdavi (co-producer of the series) and myself.” Noting the collaborative nature of the series’ production, Mack continues: “It’s the combined efforts of the theater, The Rock River Players and BCTV working together that keep the project thriving. We’re all excited to see the broad audience the SOLOs series is attracting. ”

Next up in the SOLOs series is a music interlude with Travis Laplante, brilliant young tenor saxophone recording artist and frequent contributor of solo saxophone performances at Yellow Barn in Putney. Travis’ performance premiers Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30. Mack notes:“The sounds that Travis evokes from the saxophone are like the wind. A marvelous and innovative player.”

Two more shows of short theatrical pieces are in final rehearsals with March show dates. Episode 6 features all original material, while Episode 7 includes roles that challenge gender role stereotypes and the nonsense poetry of Lewis Carroll.

For more information, check out the websites of the Hooker-Dunham (hookerdunham.org) or Rock River Players (rockriverplayers.org).

FRIDAY, Feb. 5: BCTV & YouTube at 7:30; Q & A via Zoom at 8:25
All performances are free of charge.

CONTACT: Jon Mack, info@hookerdunham.org

SOLOs: Episode 3 – From Paradise to Hell on Earth

00:09 – Welcome
02:18 – “Walter Simmons” performed by Stewart McDermet
05:10 – “Diary of Adam” performed by Annie Landenberger
15:36 – “Diary of Eve” performed by Thomas Ely
26:15 – “Enoch Dunlap” performed by Stewart McDermet
28:50 – “LEGACY (Grandfather, Father, Son)” performed by T. Breeze VerDant
32:56 – “Judge Somers” performed by Stewart McDermet
34:36 – “Macbeth” performed by Dan Lloyd
37:33 – “Penniwit the Artist” performed by Stewart McDermet
39:23 – “The Gettysburg Address” performed by John Moran
42:22 – Credits & Thanks