In The PassionPit with Jay Michaels

A Passion-Pit-Stop: Dana Block and “Monkey Man” this Saturday

October 30, 2019

Dana Lee Block opens-up about her brother, Marc, in MONKEY MAN, a one-person show
Saturday, November 2 @ 7:30 p.m., as part of the 10th annual UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL on Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, New York City. Tickets:

"Monkey Man" comes from a little stuffed monkey my brother carried around until the damn thing disintegrated." ... says playwright and performer, Dana Block. Growing up, Marc was a gut-splittin', hell-raisin' comedian of a kid. But when Marc turned 18, schizophrenia took his mind and he went on the run. Literally.

Marc hitchhiked across America, calling himself a Highway Man: "I tell my stories to drivers, keep 'em awake at night." This show is constructed from the brilliant, stream-of-consciousness rants and graphic cartoons Marc made in a diary as he jumped from ride to ride, sleeping on the side of the road, begging for food. He attempted to stay in reality but his mental illness led him further and further down a rabbit hole. "He tried to reason his way out," Dana says, "finding tunnels, underpasses, crosscuts, but none of it led him back to home."

Dana Block takes the stage to offer a rare insight into the mind of mental illness. "This subject is still so stigmatized and full of shame," Block says. "People come to me after the show and open up. It touches so many peoples' hidden-away griefs."

Dana recently toured this production to her hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, where the reception was large and enthusiastic. Dana has been touring the production in Milwaukee, Chicago and other cities, with the culmination of this leg of the journey at Theatre Row in New York.

DANA BLOCK worked as an actor with Richard Foreman's Indie film, "Once Every Day" (winner, New York Times Critics Pick 2013). She is a proud member of New York Women in Film and TV. Last year, she performed her new play, "Queen Kong," Off Broadway. She has written, produced, and performed four other one-woman shows, receiving a BroadwayWorld award for the role of Silda in a regional production of "Other Desert Cities."

UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL is an annual international festival for solo performances held in New York City. Through a variety of one-person shows, the Festival explores and celebrates the uniqueness of the individual. Its audiences see one-person performances from all over the world, experience foreign cultures and traditions, and learn the perspectives of people from various walks of life.

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