Fresh out of Hanover, Talene Monahon ’13 was recently cast in the “The Chocolate Show!”, an off-Broadway musical that will open on Friday. At Dartmouth, Monahon played a starring role in the College’s production of “Angels in America” in fall 2012 and produced and acted in an original solo show titled “All in Good Fun” last spring. She also acted at the New London Barn Playhouse and the Northern Stage in White River Junction.
What have you been up to since graduating in June?
TM: After I graduated, I had a job lined up at Peterborough Players in New Hampshire. We did shows like “Snow White,” and it was really fun. Then I moved to New York. There, I performed my solo show “All in Good Fun,” which is about the social scene at Dartmouth. I also performed the show at the United Solo Theater Festival in October.
How were you involved in the arts on campus?
TM: I had a senior fellowship, which is an option where students choose an interdisciplinary project that is so comprehensive that they can take their senior year off to work on it. The fellowship project resulted in “All in Good Fun.” I interviewed students, transcribed the responses and turned it into a script. It shows a diverse group of people on campus and gets different perspectives into one conversation. The show reflected campus last spring, but if I did it now, it would show how quickly everything changes each school year. I also performed for the theater department in “Angels in America,” “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Hairspray” and many other shows. I was also in the Dodecaphonics.
Why did you pursue the arts at Dartmouth?
TM: There are many wonderful resources available for those interested in pursuing the arts at Dartmouth. It’s a great time to experiment and see what you like and how you like to do it. I encourage anyone to take advantage of the professors and opportunities.
How did you land a part in “The Chocolate Show!”?
TM: My agent set me up on auditions, including for “The Chocolate Show!” Once your agent gets you auditions, luck plays a part in how everything works out. Hundreds of people are auditioning for everything, so you really never know. I usually can tell if I am right for a part, but this show was different. I play 12 different characters, so I did not know if I was going to be what they wanted when I came into the audition.
What are you most excited about for the show?
TM: “The Chocolate Show!” is a family-friendly, five-person show with many fun musical numbers. I am so thrilled to be working with such talented actors. They all have really good credits and have also been really warm and welcoming. I have learned a lot from them about being new to New York and the theater scene here.
Where do you think you will be in five years? Do you see yourself starting to write more instead of act?
TM: I have no idea. I’m generally singularly focused on acting, although I did enjoy the process of writing for my senior fellowship. I’ll be more interested to see the musical versus non-musical trajectory of my career. I am still surprised that I am in a musical because I did mostly non-musical roles before. “The Chocolate Show!” has an indefinite run length, so I look forward to performing in the show as long as I can.