A one-man show that tells the true story of Ira Aldridge, the African-American actor who in 1825 fled racial hatred in New York, became a star of the European stage, inspired the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, and came to represent the causes of oppressed people across Europe.
A Latina actress in modern-day Los Angeles tries to follow in the footsteps of the notorious 18th-century figure Dora Jordan—beloved comedienne, mother of fourteen children, and live-in girlfriend to the future King of England.
"Solemn Mockeries" tells the true story of William-Henry Ireland, the teenager who tried to win his father's love by forging "Shakespearean" papers including a tragedy called VORTIGERN. And when the forged play is staged at Drury Lane with the finest actors of the day, what could possibly go wrong?"
I first heard of the story of William-Henry and his notorious forgeries as a graduate student at UCLA. Though my field of specialization turned out to be 20th-Century British Literature, my real passion was for theatre, especially Shakespeare. Through the years I attended as many shows as I could and eventually discovered the Independent Shakespeare Company. I thought they were the best company I had ever seen and I volunteered to help out and did any number of menial and clerical tasks.
I am forever grateful to David Melville and his cofounder of the Independent Shakespeare Company, Melissa Chalsma for producing my play. And we were honored to be accepted by the United Solo Theater Festival in New York.
Solemn Mockeries received the award for Best Period Piece at the 2013 United Solo Festival.