Who Is the 2014 Monologue Madness Champion and Who Made The Final Four?

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HERE ARE THE 2014 Final Four!

Kelly
Kelly Marie McKenna

Kelly Marie McKenna
Monologue Madness 2014 Champion

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Kashayna Johnson.
Kashayna Johnson.

Kashayna Johnson
Monologue Madness 2014 Runner-Up

Tim Torre.
Tim Torre.

Tim Torre
Monologue Madness 2014
Final Four

Ryan F. Johnson.
Ryan F. Johnson.

Ryan F. Johnson
Monologue Madness 2014
Final Four

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 From Edward Daniels:

Edward Daniel.
Edward Daniels.

We had a STELLAR panel of judges this year, including Betsy Royall Casting, Taylor Royall Casting, John Pallotta Studio of Acting, Karen Shod, Anne Chapman Casting, and Kimberly Skyrme Casting! Also attending was Sarah Conte (Gossip Girl/Parks & Rec) with Beth Melsky Casting and HATCH Theatre!

For the first time since 2011, both the #1 and #2 seeded actors advanced to the Final Four.

After the judges threw out a tricky adjustment to the last two actors standing, requiring them to perform this year’s cold read monologue (from the musical Cabaret) as though they were accepting an Academy Award (which was insanely entertaining)…

Our 2014 runner-up was Kashayna Johnson from MD and our 2014 Champion was Kelly Marie McKenna from NYC!

Thank you for making Monologue Madness 2014 a great success. I am very grateful that this showcase continues to be a hit and an opportunity for our local talent to shine!

I look forward to announcing the 2015 dates in early fall!

Final bracket:  www.MonologueMadness.net

1 COMMENT

  1. Last Sunday night, I attended the 4th Monologue Madness Competition at the very comfortable Miracle Theater on Capitol Hill. This venue, once the Meader Theater on 8th Street, SE in DC, is a beautifully renovated former vaudeville show house and movie theater — and now a building that brings a church and marketplace together.

    Monologue Madness is the brain child of energetic actor, dj, producer, couponer, do-gooder Edward Daniels. I’d judged 2 previous years and found the selection process among tremendously talented performers one of the hardest theatre “jobs” I’d experienced. (I served as a Helen Hayes judge for 3 years and as an usher, etc.) Modeling the competition after “March Madness”, Edward starts with 200 performers and judges winnow the competition down to 32 on performance night when the actors face the public and judges in close proximity. Performers show their skills by presenting a 1-minute monologue in comedy, drama, the classics — and then — when there are 4 performers left — they receive a “cold read” to interpret.

    This year, the cold read consisted of the words by Fraulein 
Schneider who rents rooms in the musical, “Cabaret.” The Final Four who received this intriguing assignment were 2 very different men and 2 very different women which made for an exciting and creative finish. Tim Torre, quite young, physically active, and often effervescent, and Ryan F. Johnson, a solid actor who seemed experienced even without the years and would be competing in April’s “The Movement Theatre Company’s Harlem Monologue Slam”, were terrific while performing a speech by a female character that did not fluster them. They emphasized with different degrees of energy and determination that they had withstood war and revolution and could stand up to the Nazis. They showed real acting chops through the entire evening and clearly knew what it takes to perform in different genres. The two women presented their monologues with different nuances. Kelly Marie McKenna seemed somewhat war weary yet wise and set to persevere as she had done for years. Kashayna Johnson portrayed a more feisty, youthful and driven character who was set to keep tackling anything. Obviously, all 4 were exemplary in various categories to make the Final 4 and I’ll be watching them and all others to see where they perform.

    Judges then scrutinized the talent further by asking the very last 2 finalists — the women — to perform something unique. Directions were to take that “Cabaret” cold read and present it as if it were an Oscar acceptance speech. Novel and entertaining! Eventual runner-up from Maryland, Kashayna Johnson, was imaginatively emotional during her “Oscar acceptance speech” as she clutched the Oscar and realized, complete with hand motions, that she had to speed through her speech before the “Academy.” In contrast, Kelly Marie McKenna, displayed an actress clearly overcome by her Oscar win but was subtlely mature and calmer in delivery as she expressed surprise and gratitude. It was Ms. McKenna who ultimately became the Monologue champion, a character actress in NYC whose friend encouraged her to compete by showing what a “natural” actor can do in a variety of forms and roles.

    Everyone who made Sunday’s final cut is a winner – probably all 200 are – although I didn’t see them all. Many of you would recognize several DC actors who made our area proud but did not make the last bracket; I hope they’ll try again next year. No actor “choked” or forgot lines (although a humorous monologue focused on “Line?!”).These courageous performers demonstrated a wide variety of skills and wonderfully interpreted a broad range of playwrights. It was a pleasure to see contestants of all ages and diverse backgrounds.

    However, my highest kudos go to Edward Daniels whose commitment to create this successful event is evident. Enthusiastically, he reaches out to sponsors so that the winner receives $1K and an Ipad Mini plus credibility to transform a dream into reality. The final 4 all receive useful awards to bolster their careers — e.g., headshot photo sessions. He included casting professionals as judges and attendees in the audience this year. He infuses the event with a fun yet highly efficient atmosphere and promotes comaraderie when stakes are somewhat high and actors undoubtedly nervous while awaiting their turn. He even arranges for all to meet afterward at a nearby pub for actors and others to continue developing contacts.

    Monologue Madness is highly organized and produced with lighting and finesse. It is the only monologue showcase of this kind in the D.C. area The cost to attend: minimal. Please support and enjoy this stupendous showcase of gutsy actors next year. Edward promises an even better event next year. Plan a riveting evening during March Madness in 2015 and applaud your favorites. For details, check out http://www.monologuemadness.net

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