DDTCo. The Eight: Reindeer Monologues

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WHAT IS A DIRT DOG? dirt dog /dert dÔg/


REINDEER MONOLOGUES Written by Jeff Goode Directed by Trevor B. Cone

noun 1. A tough, scrappy baseball player who plays hard, gets dirty, has an unrelenting work ethic, and throws their whole heart into the game. This is the same approach we take in creating multi-faceted theatrical productions. We give everything we have to our shows, and we often get dirty in the process.

As a courtesy to the audience and performers, and in compliance with copyright laws, any tape recording, photography or videography is not permitted during the performance without written permission.




Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation. Please consider supporting us.


Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. was established in 2015 by Houston theatre veterans Trevor B. Cone, Malinda L. Beckham and John Baker. Dirt Dogs collaborates with Houston artists and playwrights to provide an opportunity for new works to be seen, and previously produced ones to breathe new life.

— DIRTDOGSTHEATRE.ORG — PO BOX 230371 • HOUSTON, TX 77223 • 713.561.5113

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From the

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR The Eight: Reindeer Monologues tells stories of personal struggle using a rare form of storytelling. Historically beloved, yet fictional characters are used to deliver very real and relatable abuse of power situations. We all know that Rudolph, Santa, and the eight flying reindeer are not real figures, yet they are so ensconced in tradition that using them as a mechanism to tell this kind of story seems shocking and naughty. In reality, we aren’t really telling stories of an imaginary Santa but of any number of real people who sit in a place of power and use that power in exploitative ways. In place of Santa Claus, insert real name here: . Rudolph was an underdog. He was “different,” which excluded him from his social group and participating in any reindeer games. His father was desperate for his son to be accepted and successful, making them both vulnerable to exploitation. Santa is a figure that holds monopolistic power since he is the sole provider of the world’s presents on Christmas morning. The amount of abuse that accumulates with that much concentrated power is staggering, and this play explores the consequences. The reindeer offer individual experiences and opinions of the same incident providing differing perspectives and attitudes, both progressive and stunting. How can two reindeer see the same situation so differently? Who is willing to ignore abuse for personal gain? Who is willing to confront it and pay the price? Work-place conditions, sexual misconduct, abuse of power, celebrity worship, judgement based on appearance and sexual preference, victim blaming and victim shaming… All of this can be found in this monologue play told by eight flying reindeer. How brilliant and how brutal. Happy Holidays!

MALINDA L. BECKHAM Artistic Director Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.

THE EIGHT: Reindeer Monologues Cast

Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.

Dasher ������������������������������������������������������������������� Jeff Featherston

Artistic Director ���������������������������������������������� Malinda L. Beckham

Cupid ���������������������������������������������������������������������������Curtis Barber

Executive Director ���������������������������������������������������� Trevor B. Cone

Hollywood ������������������������������������������������������������������Todd Thigpen

Design Director �������������������������������������������������������������� John Baker

Blitzen ���������������������������������������������������������������Malinda L. Beckham

Marketing Director ����������������������������������������������� Melissa J. Marek

Comet ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Jimmy Vollman

Artistic Associate ������������������������������������������������������ Curtis Barber

Dancer ��������������������������������������������������������������Holly Vogt Wilkison

Production Manager ������������������������������������������������ Mark A. Lewis

Donner ���������������������������������������������������������������������Travis Ammons

Production Stage Manager ������������������������ Barbara Alicea-Aponte

Vixen: �������������������������������������������������������������������� Katrina Ellsworth

Artists-in-Residence �������������� Donna McKenzie & Doug Williams

Creative Team Director, Scenic & Sound Design ������������������������� Trevor B. Cone Costume Design �������������������������������������������� Malinda L. Beckham Aaron Joseph Herrera Lighting Design �������������������������������������������������������� Mark A. Lewis Production Manager ����������������������������������������������������� John Baker Production Stage Manager ���������������������� Barbara Alicea-Aponte Program Design ����������������������������������������������������� Melissa J. Marek Photography ���������������������������������������������������������������� Gary Griffin

Board of Directors John Baker • Malinda L. Beckham Trevor B. Cone • Carl Masterson • Kelly Raley

About the Playwright

JEFF GOODE is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter and the creator of Disney’s animated series, American Dragon: Jake Long. He is a playwright and winner of both the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and the Backstage Garland Award for Love Loves a Pornographer and was also named Broadway Play Publishing’s Playwright of the Year for the Dickensian Christmas hit Marley’s Ghost. He is a founding member of the original No Shame Theatre, and founding artistic director of No Shame Los Angeles. jeffgoode.com

The Cast TRAVIS AMMONS (Donner) is an actor and director for both stage and screen. Most recently, he directed The Graduate, A Streetcar Named Desire, Christmas on Mars, and Fat Men in Skirts. He’s written and directed seven feature-length films including The Great American Moon Rock Caper, voted by the Houston Film Critics Society as one of the top five independent films in Houston, and Suicide Notes, the critic’s choice for best film at the WorldFest-Houston International Film and Video Festival. He also wrote and mounted on various stages a sci-fi version of Beauty and the Beast that takes place in the future. The Beast is mostly Android and that’s why he thinks he’s unloveable.” DDTCo. audiences will recognize Travis from The Exonerated (Kerry Max Cook) and The Boundary (Christian Robb). He was also in Insomnia Café, Amadeus (Amadeus) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Herod), Equus (Alan), Hurly Burly (Eddie), The Whale (Charlie), and in The Fansasticks (Henry and Mortimer). CURTIS BARBER (Cupid) has acted and directed in the Houston area for the past nine years. Some previous directing credits include The Revolutionists for Dirt Dogs, as well as The Unknown for the Annual Student Playwright Festival, and Doublewide Texas, The Foreigner, The Odd Couple and All Shook Up at Pearl Theater. Audiences will remember Curtis from his on-stage appearances in Talk Radio (Bernie/Ensemble) with Dirt Dogs and the The :inv:s:ble Play (Colin) with Cone Man Running Productions. Curtis is the head theatre director at Needville High School and is the artistic associate for Dirt Dogs. MALINDA L. BECKHAM (Blitzen and Costume Design) is a founding member and the Artistic Director of Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. She has been a prominent member of the Houston theatre community since her stage debut in Charley’s Aunt (Amy Spettigue) in 1993. Since then, she has appeared in productions of The Revolutionists (Olympe de Gouges), Boston Marriage (Anna), The Graduate (Mrs. Robinson), Five by TENN (Hardwicke-Moore/Woman/Cornelia Scott), Death and the Maiden (Paulina Salas), Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander (Lu Ann), A Few Good Men (LCDR JoAnne Galloway), Proof (Catherine) and The Bad Seed (Christine). Malinda directed the world premiere of The Boundary, as well as Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, The Exonerated, Glengarry Glen Ross and A Steady Rain, and co-directed A Lie of the Mind for DDTCo. She has been at the helm of several other productions including The Philadelphia Story, Critic’s Choice, Extremities, Laura and The Columnist.

Malinda was a Houston Press finalist for set design for both Glengarry Glen Ross and The Philadelphia Story. She sends her thanks and gratitude to this outstanding cast and crew! Special thanks to her handsome husband and partner in life, Trevor, for his unwavering love and support. KATRINA ELLSWORTH (Vixen) was classically trained at the American Musical and Dramatics Academy in NYC. Some favorite credits include: Macbeth (Lady Macbeth) at Shakespeare in the Shade, The Exonerated (Sandra Cook) and Life x 3 (Sonia) Dirt Dogs Theatre Co., the one-woman/ 14 character show, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, and The Whale (Mary) at Bayou City Theatrics, The Underpants (Louise) and Tribute (Sally) at Texas Repertory, Love Loves a Pornographer (Emily) for Nova Arts Project, Bug (Agnes) at Theatre Southwest and The Crucible (Elizabeth Procter) at Houston Family Arts Center. JEFF FEATHERSTON (Dasher) was last seen in the DDTCo. productions of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Bill Bradley) and Glengarry Glen Ross (Richard Roma). Other favorable stage credits include, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Brick), Fat Pig (Tom), Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander (Skip), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Nick), Cabaret (Clifford Bradshaw), Philadelphia Story (C.K. Dexter Haven), Deathtrap (Clifford Anderson) and The Unexpected Guest (Julian Farrar). TODD THIGPEN (Hollywood) is excited to work with Dirt Dogs again where he has previously performed in Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Charles Lloyd), The Exonerated (Robert Earl Hayes) and Five by TENN (Elevator Boy). His other productions include Welcome to the Dark Side (He) for Wildwood Theatre, Below the Belt (Dobbit) at Country Playhouse, The Passion of Dracula (Dracula) and Fences (Gabe) at HCC-Central, as well as {adjective}[noun]: A Theatrical Symphony in Eighteen Movements (various roles) from the Local Author Series at The Company OnStage. He thanks you for supporting the arts! JIMMY VOLLMAN (Comet) never misses an opportunity to work with Dirt Dogs. Jimmy has been seen in Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Shelby Coffey, III), The Exonerated (Rhodes/Ensemble) and the Student Playwright Festival: Insomnia (Brato) at DDTCo. He has worked with Shabach Productions on A Fly in the Windshield (Neil) and performed in several projects at Theatre Southwest, in addition to previous work on stage and screen. High-quality theatre with good material and great people is both challenging and fun, and Dirt Dogs always delivers.

HOLLY VOGT WILKISON (Dancer) has been on the stage and screen for more than 20 years spanning New York, Chicago, LA, and Houston. Some favorite productions include: Steel Magnolias (Shelby), Hamlet (Ophelia), Daddy’s Dyin’… Who’s got the Will? (Mama Wheelis), Boy Gets Girl (Theresa Bedell), A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche DuBois), Bell, Book and Candle (Gillian Holroyd), Noises Off (Belinda/Flavia), and The Exonerated (Sunny). Holly studied Drama at Syracuse University’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts and The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

The Creative Team

TREVOR B. CONE (Director/Scenic & Sound Design) is a founding member and the Executive Director of Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. He has directed several Houston productions including Life x 3 and Five by TENN (DDTCo.), The Break of Noon (Queensbury Theatre), Below the Belt (Country Playhouse), Death and the Maiden, Superior Donuts, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Wayside Motor Inn (Theatre Southwest). Additional sound designs include The Revolutionists, Twilight Los Angeles: 1992, White Guy on the Bus, The Graduate, Life x 3, and The Boundary (DDTCo.), Extremities, The Columnist, The Philadelphia Story (Theatre Southwest) and Desdemona/Waiting for Othello (Trebuchet Players). Trevor thanks the cast and crew of this wonderful show for their passion and dedication! Special thanks, and all his love to Malinda who makes all things better. BARBARA ALICEA-APONTE (Production Stage Manager) is a graduate of the University of Houston with a BA in media production. Barbara was the editor, production stage manager and photographer for Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. She stage managed The Revolutionists, The Dead Eye Boy, White Guy on the Bus, A Lie of the Mind, Boston Marriage, The Graduate, Glengarry Glen Ross, Five x TENN, A Steady Rain, and The Boundary for Dirt Dogs. Barbara has also been a stage manager for Below the Belt at Country Playhouse, and Extremities, Superior Donuts and The Philadelphia Story at Theatre Southwest. She is excited to be a part of this production and would like to thank the entire team at Dirt Dogs for the opportunity. She would also like to thank her parents for their unwavering support in all of her endeavors.

JOHN BAKER (Production Manager) Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.: Founding Member, Design Director. Recipient of The 2015 Houston Press Theatre Award for Best Lighting Design for his work on The Pillowman at Theatre Southwest. Nominee for The Houston Press Theatre Awards for best lighting design The Exonerated (2018) and Glengarry Glen Ross (2017) for DDTCo. Additional designs: The Dead Eye Boy, Life x 3, Five by TENN, A Steady Rain and The Boundary (DDTCo.), Break of Noon (Queensbury Theatre), Laura, Superior Donuts, Extremities, Death and the Maiden, Philadelphia Story and Merry Wives of Windsor (Theatre Southwest), Below the Belt (Country Playhouse), In-Step Dance Company, Planet Funk, International Ballet of Houston (Hobby Center, Zilkha Hall), Houston City Dance. BFA – lighting design, Boston University. AARON JOSEPH HERRERA (Costume Design) has worked worked throughout Houston as an actor, director and teacher. He is thrilled to be joining Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. behind-the-scenes again. He recently worked as a costume assistant on The Revolutionists and as costume consultant for Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, where he also appeared onscreen as Octavio. Audiences will also remember Aaron for his DDTCo. performance in The Dead Eye Boy (Soren). MARK A. LEWIS (Lighting Design) has designed scenery and lighting for more than 200 Houston productions over the last 25 years. Some of his favorites are Godspell (scenery, 2001; lighting, 2017), Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Arsenic and Old Lace and John, His Story at A.D. Players, Miss Nelson is Missing and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (ballet) at Omaha Theater Company, The Miracle Worker at the University of St. Thomas, The Revolutionists, Talk Radio and A Lie of the Mind with DDTCo., Mrs. Warren’s Profession at Classical Theater Company, Bright Star for Klein Oak HS (2019 Tommy Tune winner for Best Musical), plus work at Theater LaB Houston and The Texas Repertory Theatre Company. Mark and his wife Marci enjoy traveling, spending time with and spoiling their great-granddaughters Kaitlin and Eva, as well as their dogs Morty and Bear and their cat Mello.

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Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. creates multi-faceted theatrical productions that enrich and entertain audiences, inspire artists, and honor playwrights.

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