Contact: John Hardy; 276 698-7683; email@example.com; JOHNHARDYTHEATRE.COMRATTLESNAKE
“John Hardy’s…Rattlesnake…a groundbreaking creation…”
“Brilliant writing in the most original script I know…the first classic of the new century.”
“You have never seen anything like it… sixteen characters, a small cavalcade, come to life before our eyes, distinctly and convincingly.”
“The entire piece is one immense poem with passages of lyric beauty given in plain everyday speech. It’s a marvelous use of language, a lot of wit, much rich characterization - and all with very deep feeling. The whole thing is immense”
“The performance is remarkable in its creative use of simplicity. John needs no props to convince you of the reality of his world. His world is in his imagination. And what an imagination it is.” Sean O’Sullivan, Theatre Columnist, A! Magazine For the Arts
“Rattlesnake' is sinuous, mean theatre; don’t miss it! Rob Weisfeld, Theatre Critic, The Abingdon Virginian
“Rattlesnake is a remarkable work… beautifully written and beautifully acted… ...it rises to the kind of ritualistic intensity one does not often see, but always longs for, in contemporary theatre. Visionary, mystical and virtuosic in the execution…. It’s not every day that original theatre of this quality comes to Asheville…” John Crutchfield, Theatre Critic, Asheville Mountain Express
RATTLESNAKE is a unique theatrical event. Unlike anything you have ever seen and, at the same time, easily understood, appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed by first-time theatre goers.
One actor plays sixteen characters, but unlike most one-actor plays, these characters interact with each other. Believe it or not, they exchange banter; they battle back and forth; they engage in conversations. The typical one-actor play is either a series of monologues or a story being told by one character. RATTLESNAKE goes far beyond those traditional boundaries of theatrical protocol. These characters engage each other; they compel each other. The result is a story of epic reach. Each and every character yearns for something. They reach out, grasping for something they know exists, but they don’t know what it is or how to get it.
Sherman Trent, the main character at the center of the story, journeys forward as this world of characters swirls around him.
A man of West Texas longs for fatherhood which is his only ambition. His attempts to realize this ambition are stifled in his romantic life, and his application for the adoption of a child is rejected by the local adoption agency. He retreats to a small patch of prairie left to him by his long gone mother and father. Here, he meets the rattlesnake, and immerses himself in its world finding a comfort and belonging that eludes him in the outside world. He immerses himself in the world of the rattlesnake and uses their skins for crafting hatbands, belt buckles and other items for sale. Recalling the lessons of a boyhood acquaintance, an old black woman, he learns to cook the meat of the rattlesnake and becomes a noted chef. His newfound celebrity takes him as far as Paris where he meets a Parisian woman who opens her heart to him. He gives over to her but cannot release himself from his bond with the rattlesnake. The story ends soon after, but not before one more surprise.
The play encompasses thirty years in flashback and takes place in various locations in West Texas and later, Paris, France.
Among the sixteen characters of the piece:
The main character, Sherman Trent
Bubba, his father
Millie, his mother
Madge Hayden, Adoption Agency Supervisor
Noni, an old black woman; the live-in companion of Sherman’s great aunt
Monty Monty, West Texas restaurant owner and erstwhile organizer of rattlesnake roundups
Sarah, Animal rights protester at the rattlesnake roundup
Benjamin Nagle, Biology teacher at the local community college; denied tenure due to his obsession with the rattlesnake
Laferne Labouvie, Owner of restaurants in New Orleans and Paris
Sidonie, Female chef at the Paris restaurant; Sherman’s love
JOHN HARDY, Playwright and Actor
Over the course of a thirty year career John has directed over one hundred professional productions including MACBETH, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, ROMEO AND JULIET, HENRY V, JULIUS CAESAR, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, TARTUFFE, OEDIPUS THE KING, MAN OF LA MANCHA and others. As an actor John has played many of the great roles including Hamlet, MacBeth, Tom Wingfield in THE GLASS MENAGERIE, Oberon in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Teach in AMERICAN BUFFALO and many others. John has recently returned from a national tour, playing George in OF MICE AND MEN. As a playwright he has had over forty productions of fifteen plays produced across the country and overseas. John recently received the Sara Spencer Award, for lifetime achievement, from the Southeastern Theatre Conference. M.F.A.: The University of Alabama; Ph.D.: Texas Tech University.
KATY BROWN, Director
Katy has directed over fifty professional productions including OF MICE AND MEN, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, A THOUSAND CRANES, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, CHILDREN OF THE SUN, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, A WALK IN THE WOODS and world premieres such as THE QUILTMAKER, DOUBTING THOMAS and FRANKLY MY DEAR. As a professional actor: Phebe in AS YOU LIKE IT, Rose of Sharon in THE GRAPES OF WRATH, Olivia in TWELFTH NIGHT, Suzanne in PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, The Prince in ROMEO AND JULIET and others. Katy is the Artistic Director of The Barter Players and Associate Director of The Barter Theatre.
Runtime: Approx. 100 minutes
Cast size: 1 actor
"John Hardy's...Rattlesnake...a groundbreaking creation...the first classic of the new century." Sean O'Sullivan, Theatre Columnist, A! Magazine For the Arts
"Rattlesnake is a remarkable work...beautifully written and beautifully acted..." John Crutchfield, Theatre Critic, Asheville Mountain Express
"Rattlesnake is sinuous, mean theatre; don't miss it!" Rob Weisfeld, Theatre Critic, The Abingdon Virginian
"Brilliant writing in the most original script I know... You have never seen anything like it... sixteen characters, a small cavalcade, come to life before our eyes, distinctly and convincingly... The entire piece is one immense poem with passages of lyric beauty given in plain everyday speech. It's a marvelous use of language, a lot of wit, much rich characterization. The performance is remarkable..." Sean O'Sullivan, Theatre Columnist, A! Magazine For the Arts