Monday Monologues: Ethan Hawke is “In the Dark” and loves it

Part of a continuing series of Monday Monologues.

Ethan Hawke is fearless in his straight up reading of “In the Dark” which puts into words people’s fascination with unexplained tire tracks on the highway and sexual fetishes like black leather, black Lycra, and in this monologue, black rubber. This selection is  #17 of Eric Bogosian’s astonishing series of 100 Monologues. and is excerpted from 1983’s Funhouse, part of a collection of a dozen shows that make up the writer’s commentary on contemporary life.

Up until 1982, Bogosian was the toast of the art house crowd. But Funhouse is what started Bogosian’s career in earnest, since it was the second piece produced by Joe Papp, directed by Jo Bonney and moved to off Broadway by Fred Zollo and Frank Gero.  There it found a wider audience, and opened up commercial possibilities.

As Eric Bogosian writes in his introduction to the book of 100 Monologues, “I did not set out to write monologues, but the more involved with the form I got, the more interesting it became to me. I liked the energy and excitement of speaking directly to an audience. I liked arranging the portraits of characters to create a larger whole. I liked the difficulty of writing and performing such complex stuff. Performing and writing these monologues took me to the limit of my abilities.”

ETHAN HAWKE

Ethan Hawke is an American actor, writer and director. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, both as an actor and a writer, and a Tony Award. Hawke has directed two feature films, three Off-Broadway plays, and a documentary, and wrote the novels The Hottest State (1996) and Ash Wednesday (2002).

Hawke made his film debut in 1985 with the science fiction feature Explorers, before making a breakthrough appearance in the 1989 drama Dead Poets Society. He then appeared in numerous films before taking a role in the 1994 Generation X drama Reality Bites, for which he received critical praise. In 1995 he starred in the romantic drama Before Sunrise, and later in its sequels Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013).

In 2001, Hawke played a young police officer in Training Day, for which he received the Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category. He also garnered two screenwriting Oscar nominations for co-writing the screenplays of Before Sunset and Before Midnight. In 2014, his role as the father in the coming-of-age film Boyhood earned him multiple award nominations, including the Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor.

His other films include the science fiction drama Gattaca (1997), the contemporary adaptation of Hamlet (2000), the action thriller Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), the crime drama Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), and the horror film Sinister (2012).

Boyhood (2014), a film shot over the course of 12 years that follows the life of an American boy from age 6 to 18, with Hawke playing the protagonist’s father. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture, while winning Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama and BAFTA Award for Best Film. It also earned Hawke multiple awards nominations, including the Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In January 2016, the 100 Monologues project successfully launched a crowd funding campaign to continue its work, and raised $25,531 from 122 backers a month later.  What Bogosian and his supporters have been creating over the past two years is an amazing archive of great theatre snippets, a resource for not only audiences, but for the actors who perform them on demand in your home or on electronic devices.  The search for dramatic and memorable monologue materials for use by performers at live auditions and guest appearances never ends.

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