Virtual Theatre Performance from The Belles of Whitechapel ~ The Victims of Jack the Ripper Speak, written by Wayne Miller / Directed by Nina Soden
Actress Valerie Clemons
Valerie Clemons loves live theatre, and is eager to be a part of this new experience of virtual theatre! Whether she is playing the lead on stage, or pulling a curtain backstage, Valerie loves being a part of helping transport folks from their worries, for just a couple of hours. Thank you, Nina, for this opportunity to bring the words of Annie to life. Valerie lives in Albertville with her favorite canine, RobertAnne.
When asked her thoughts on Annie Millwood’s monologue, Valerie had this to say:
I feel that Annie Millwood wanted so much more from life that what she ended up with. She was so happy to have begun a life as the proud wife of a decorated soldier. Being Nicky’s wife was her identity, and she was shattered when his death left her alone and penniless. But Annie was a fighter, and although she was devastated and never moved past her loss, she held her head high, and did whatever she had to do, in order to survive.
I admire Annie’s strength. She faced such humiliation and degradation, and still felt she had some dignity. The fact that her death is not acknowledged as an official “Ripper” murder upsets her; she is almost jealous and offended that she went unnoticed. She wasn’t invisible in life, and she doesn’t want to be invisible in death.
When asked about the process of performing virtual theatre, she said: I had never attempted a monologue before this experience, and in all honesty, I had significant anxiety about it. Ok, pretty much full-fledged panic attacks once or twice. I quickly realized that learning 20 paragraphs, completely on my own, with no other actors to react to or even rehearse with, blasted me far from my comfort zone. Turns out my dog didn’t give notes or feedback, which was disappointing.
And only 2 weeks to prepare? Eeeek!
However, I ended up THOROUGHLY enjoying the experience, despite the anxiety. Having such a condensed window of study time forced me to focus, and I appreciated the concentration. I do believe I still prefer having a stage full of other actors to respond to. And live audiences!! The energy emitted from them revs me as an actor.
I was honored to have been chosen to bring Annie’s words to life. I hope viewers enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed sharing it with them.
A Note from the Director
As a writer, I can appreciate every word Wayne put into this script. His research and dedication to his writing did these women proud. As an actress, I hope to one day play all the roles so I can truly connect with each of them on an emotional level. As a director, I am both honored and humbled that Wayne would trust me with this production. I have loved working with each of these actresses and believe that in the short time we had together (2 weeks start to finish) each and every one of them have given a beautiful performance. ~ Nina Soden
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS and is the Grand High Poobah of CHEEZISM, the movement he founded (it isn’t organized enough to be called a religion, besides which it isn’t religious) dedicated to providing audiences with the finest in entertainment options on the page and for the stage. (On the big screen, too, if Spielberg ever returns any of his phone calls.) Wayne has been writing stories literally since before he learned his alphabet—he drew pictures. After languishing in the nether-regions of the publishing industry for years, working as an acquisitions editor for a literary agency, he chose, as an experiment, to combine his passion for writing with his hobby of Theatre, and in the process, by accident and Providence, discovered his life’s purpose: to be a showman.
Describing himself as a cross between Edgar Allan Poe and P.T. Barnum, Miller is a devotee of Ed Wood, the “worst director of all time!” who inspires Wayne due to his unflappable dedication to his muse and unrestrainable creative drive.
When not involved in Cheez business, Wayne Miller is a reporter for the websites werewolves.com, vampires.com, and darkness.com. He has previously written content for zombies.org, topcomics.com, thenerdrecites.com, and Legless Corpse Films.
Wayne Miller and Tanya Miller of Evil Cheez Productions for allowing me the honor of producing and directing this amazing play. Through his script, Wayne has done a wonderful job of bringing these women back to life, even if just for a few minutes, to tell their story. Make sure you check out Evil Cheez online and learn about their upcoming productions.
Theatre Huntsville for letting us use The Studio Theatre space at Lowe Mill and for providing the professional lighting design. You can find them, and their upcoming productions, online by clicking HERE or on Facebook.
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To read the actresses comments about their characters, click on the links below and you’ll be taken to the individual posts!
Annie Millwood Martha Tabram Polly Nichols “Dark Annie” Chapman Elizabeth “Long Liz” Stride and Kate Eddowes Sarah Lewis Mary Jane Kelly