Rock Out

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Without a word of dialogue, Rock Out cannot be called a play, yet it does not fit within traditional parameters for musicals, either (i.e., no lyrics, musicians, or singers).

A love story told through interpretive dance and recorded music, Rock Out was selected by the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival.  Gregory performed the lead role opposite Tiffany Hodges and an ensemble cast that created the different worlds of the play in just a few movements.  Accomplished director Melissa Maxwell invented the seamless transitions from scene to scene.  The production received rave reviews.

This piece really matches no category, much like its characters.  Two lonely souls who cannot dance to save their lives cling to sound and rhythm to move them in the right direction.  In Gary and Mary’s world, words have lost all meaning, especially when it comes to describing and engendering love between two people. 

Rock Out follows the stages of their incredibly odd courtship.  Only music – what’s playing on his iPod or her stereo or his workstation – can move these two introverts toward something like love.

Since the actors are not trained dancers, audience members better identify the show’s freestyle movement with their own private dance sessions. (Really, when we’re alone, who among us does not let music take control sometimes?)  However, the improvisational quakes and kicks that burst out of the characters are not just for comedy’s sake.  Because most of the songs play out in their entirety, audience members ride a wave of reactions, from laughter to embarrassment to, finally, catharsis. 

A suggestion – before you read the script sample, flip on your stereo or iPod and imagine your tunes playing during the show.  My play offers leeway regarding specific songs for three reasons:
1) Copyright issues, 2) Gregory does not wish to prejudice your reading of the work with his musical tastes.  (What if you hate Radiohead?), and 3) New great pop songs emerge all the time, and you may want to plug them in.  As long as a director follows the musical style Gregory lays out for each slot, Rock Out will rock. 

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image of Tiffany Hodges by Tom Carrozza

photo #1: Lee Barton, Tiffany Hodges, Gregory Jones; by Drew Brody

photo #2: Gregory Jones, Tiffany Hodges; by Drew Brody