Virtual Theatre Performance from The Belles of Whitechapel ~ The Victims of Jack the Ripper Speak, written by Wayne Miller / Directed by Nina Soden
Actress Sherri Ryan
Sherri Ryan has been fortunate to have been acting and directing for over 50 years… “Wow, sounds old when I say it that way,” she stated! As a theatre teacher, she says she was blessed to work with amazing Sparkman High School students until she retired in 2015. Her favorite rolls include, Mame in ‘Mame’, Anita in ‘West Side Story’, Doris in ‘Same Time Next Year’, Ouisa in ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, Clairee in ‘Steele Magnolias’, and playing Annie Chapman!!! After 10 years of NOT acting, she says a 15-minute monologue can really rattle you, but that she is thankful for this opportunity.
When asked her thoughts on “Dark Annie’ Chapman’s monologue, Sherri had this to say: When Nina first asked me to take on the role of Annie Chapman, I was thrilled that at 67, I was going to do “theatre” again. (It has been 10 years since I was last on stage). THEN I saw the script. WOW. 15 minutes of a monologue AND with an accent. It was such a challenge but I finally did it and so appreciated the opportunity. I have always enjoyed doing film work as well as performing on stage. This was quite fun though with only 2 weeks of studying, filming for 30 minutes, and you are finished with the project.
But now I miss Annie! What a character I was fortunate enough to bring back to life, or death!! She had spunk, edgy charm, and her own unique take on life. Learning her dialogue and putting it into perspective in order to capture her was like peeling an onion, lots of layers. I appreciate the writing of Wayne Miller so much, the direction of Nina Soden, and the opportunity to get to know “Dark Annie Chapman”.
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 watch all seven scenes, follow the link below to the YouTube playlist.
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