The Actor’s Deli

Just one contribution to the theatrical smorgasbord of the Deli   Photo: Kieran Brown

Just one contribution to the theatrical smorgasbord of the Deli Photo: Kieran Brown

Vulnerable glory

An actor in a long coat hauls a table onto the stage. She puts a champagne bucket on the table, pours a drink, and then turns and walks out of the room.

When she returns, coatless, she’s no longer an actor; this is Martha, from Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, in all her slurring, vulnerable glory.

And this is the Actor’s Deli: Six actors perform a brief monologue each, and three moderators report back on each performance.

An audience watches, and has the opportunity to quiz the actors. No performance is light on content; this month’s all came from established American playwrights.


Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Behind the Actor’s Deli is the charming, approachable team of Almut Mölk and Joanna Godwin-Seidel. Local actors volunteer to deliver the monologues.

Not all performances were equally convincing – as intended, they were works in progress – but still many were genuinely moving. And there is value simply in the effort spent, the few minutes in which to squeeze in that effort, and the engaged audience’s warm response. The moderators’ comments ranged from pacing to pathos, body language to breathing.

The Deli looks to be a regular fixture, arranged by the Vienna Theatre Project, and supported by the US Embassy, who provide the Amerika Haus as venue, and wine for the post-show-schmooze.

It’s worth checking out. And if you’re keen to be one of the six brave souls, shoot an email to the Vienna Theatre Project.


The Actor’s Deli

Vienna Theatre Project 

next event: December 2013

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