Mike heads for finals with monologue

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Canberra actor Mike Wheeler.

CANBERRA actor Mike Wheeler has been selected for the new World Monologue Games regional finals.

The event, one of 14 around the world, was founded by Sydney’s Pete Malicki and is in its first year. It has attracted thousands of online performers from around the world keen to compete for the kudos and the prizes provided by theatrical businesses StarNow, The Casting Cartel and Arts Business Academy.

“While the entertainment industry is on its knees, audiences embrace World Monologue Games,” he says.

Performers too, with entries in many languages, from as far afield at Austria and South Africa.

Acting schools everywhere have been reeling at the impact of COVID-19 and the challenges of teaching the art of performance online, but as Elizabeth Avery Scott from Perform Australia told us earlier in the year, one thing you can teach easily online is the monologue, where time delays and quality of sound are not as important as in other theatre arts.

Wheeler, who has been acting forth past five years mainly in local short films, submitted his entry online entry, a scene from US playwright Stephen Metcalfe’s “The Incredibly Famous Willy Rivers”, in which a psychotic killer is visited by his victim in prison to understand his murderous motives.

“I really love performing this piece,” he says, explaining that the playwright had told him that the original character was a childlike nerd but that he had “wanted to totally change the character to present a vastly different personality”.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on people’s lives, the global economy and many different industries, including arts and entertainment,” Malicki says.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for actors around the world to show how resilient they are.”

So long as entrants obtained the author’s permission to enter the piece, there were few restrictions but for one: no monologues about coronavirus.

The regional finals of World Monologue Games will be livestreamed in August and September, with the winners of each category competing in the global finals later in the year.

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Helen Musa
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