Virtual Theatre Performance from The Belles of Whitechapel ~ The Victims of Jack the Ripper Speak, written by Wayne Miller / Directed by Nina Soden
Actress Tanja Lewis Miller
Tanja Lewis Miller is honored at the opportunity to reprise the role of Polly Nichols and to, once again, give her a voice. Involved in theatre since childhood, she has acted in and/or directed and/or produced countless productions in North Alabama. Like, literally, she can’t remember how many. She is the co-owner of Evil Cheez Productions, along with her highly creative hubby Wayne, and it’s a safe bet you’ve seen her on the stage somewhere. Much love to Nina and the rest of the amazingly talented cast for allowing her to share the airwaves with them. And a huge thank you to YOU, the audience, for helping to keep theatre alive.
When asked her thoughts on Polly Nichols’ monologue, Tanja had this to say: As the playwright’s wife, I was allowed to read all of the monologues before anyone else, and I fell in love with Polly from her first line, “Do you like my new bonnet?” She’s an optimist. She’s not going to let her situation drag her down. She’s strong, stubborn, and she uses her quick wit as a defense mechanism. She doesn’t defend her faults, but she doesn’t dwell either. She’s someone I can relate to. She’s someone EVERYONE can relate to.
When asked about the process of performing virtual theatre, she said: As far as the process, I’ll take a live audience any day of the week and twice on Sundays. I’m not the biggest fan of being on film. However, I’ll also take theatre any way I can get it. Call me an addict, if you will, but once the acting bug bit, I became a lifer. I will say that Nina made it as painless as possible, and it’s always a joy to work with her.
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