Artist’s NameAlex Voeller
Address2011 Memorial Ave
Apt. B
Roanoke 24015
United States
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Facebook Profile (if any)
Instagram Handle (if any)@avller
Website (if any)
Tell us about you, the artist. Please include a few sentences of biographical information.

I am a theater artist with a focus on acting but have also written plays, directed, and performed a whole slew of different technical roles for various productions. Currently, I am enrolled at Hollins University where I am working towards my M.A in Theatre & New Play Development. With this degree, I am hoping to further my artistic career by cultivating new or underproduced pieces of theatre in order to build a community that is meaningfully engaged with one another.

I have been nomadic for the majority of my life having lived in Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida and even Europe all before coming to Virginia. I find that my bizarre life experience of never staying in one place has broadened my world view and helps me to be empathetic towards people from all walks of life. In turn, I want to celebrate all people and ensure that everyone feels welcomed and at home.

Please describe your artistic practice including the media you work in and your approach to your art.

My practice as a theater artist has been constantly changing. As an actor, your process is one part choosing what to audition for, but another part of collaboration and following a director’s vision. Unless you produce your own work, your craft can be inexplicably connected to someone else’s creative goals, whether that be a director, theater company, board of directors, etc. This to me is also the beauty of theater: a collective desire to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

I approach my art with vulnerability and hopeful authenticity. I hope that when people see any theater project I am involved with, that they will find a new sense of sympathy & empathy for the characters in the story being told. My goal is always for the audience to no longer see the unfamiliar as other, but as their neighbor, as themselves, or those they already know.

Describe the proposed work or project.

My proposed project is to produce and perform the play “White Rabbit/Red Rabbit” by Nassim Soleimanpour. The play discusses contemporary Iran from the lens of an Iranian man who was not allowed to leave his country due to being an objector to the Iran-Iraq war. The play delves into universal themes of life, death, equality, power of the internet, changing of cultures, and so much more. The play also has a long legacy of being performed across the globe in a wide range of capacities. More info about the play can be read here:

This 60 minute play is a one person show that is performed by a different actor each night. The actor will have never read the script or seen the show prior to performing, effectively making every night a unique one time only experience.

My goal with this production is to bring together a variety of people to reflect the diverse artistic community and the various theater communities found here in Roanoke. Not just to highlight each individual or demographic represented, but rather so that as an audience we can come together and be exposed to someone and something that has never been seen before. There will also be a talkback portion to each performance where a moderator will lead a discussion on the topics and themes of the play, what it is like to perform a show you have never seen or read before, and other questions the audience or even the performer may have.

In order to be accessible to as many people as possible, admission would be on a donate what you can basis with the requested donation being $15.

How will the work advance wellness, justice, or inclusion in Roanoke? Consider a community issue that you hope to address, something you want to celebrate or a condition you want to change.

I want to celebrate and uplift the diversity of art here in Roanoke. As someone who moved into this community, the theater scene feels very isolated and uniform. While there is some diversity in the types of shows being produced and Mill Mountain is working towards producing a wider range of shows through their Fringe series, most of the theater being performed here is family friendly and more or less towards a predominately white demographic.

This show is by an Iranian man and about Iran, but I believe Americans will find the entry point through our own national involvement in the Middle East, and encourage a healthy discourse as we navigate global issues. This play will most likely put most audience members in a challenging spot in terms of questioning their own beliefs, values, and understanding of the global issues presented.

By making admission pay what you can, I hope that this production will appeal to a wider range of people, especially people who are not regular theater goers. I believe many people avoid theater because of a lack of disposable income, but also lack of exposure to the medium. The average ticket for a Mill Mountain show is $35 for adults. This does not include concessions, dinner before the show, or parking. Unless you are already an avid theater goer, there is very little incentive to want to go see a show and spend up to $100 for one evening of entertainment.

When do you anticipate undertaking the work? If the project is tied to a set event or date, let us know.

My goal is for the show to be performed sometime between March and April. I am still in discussions with venues in order to solidify specific dates. Currently, the tentative plan is to perform over one weekend with a performance each night (Friday, Saturday, Sunday).

Are there partners in this effort? If so describe the partnerships and what each partner brings.

Dr. Wendy-Marie Martin has been assisting as a mentor and sounding board for plans. She is the Department Chair of the undergraduate theater program at Hollins University and a board member at Ursula’s Cafe.

I am still trying to solidify a venue but am in discussions with Ursula’s Cafe, Showtimers, and Roanoke Ballet Theatre. My hope is that they would be interested in co-producing the show while I will be the production manager, but I am open to simply renting a space if needed.

Ursula’s Cafe is a donate-what-you-can non-profit cafe that seeks to serve everyone that enters through their doors. They also work heavily with the unhoused people in Roanoke.

Showtimers Community Theater is one of the core non-profit theatrical institutions in Roanoke that focuses on volunteer work and community involvement to create their art.

Roanoke Ballet Theatre is a professional ballet studio based out of Grandin that also provide classes for the community. They also currently work extensively with PB&J Theatre, a for profit educational theater, and are interested in expanding on the “theatrical” aspects of their organization.

If any organization is willing to co-produce and host these performances, they will provide the POS for ticket donations and insurance for the performances. They will also help with advertising and marketing through there general audience base and email/newsletter lists.

There will be guest actors as we need a new performer for every night. While no one is solidified, I have begun sharing a Google Interest Form to begin building a pool of interested artists. Again, the goal is to have a wide range of artists and diversity in demographics to reflect every community here in Roanoke.

Your theory of change: How will the work advance your efforts as an artist toward an established goal? How will you, a partner organization, or the community be changed?

This project will really educate myself towards what it takes to promote and create art collaboratively and personally. This is my first endeavor in producing a theatrical production. It is also a direct application of my studies at Hollins and what I am hoping to start doing post-graduation. Ideally, from this production I will learn the skills and gain resources to produce another show, and so on and so forth.

I think the community will have a deeper appreciation for what theater can look like and provide for Roanoke. In best case scenario, I think it will start a desire for harder plays with meatier subject matter. So many cities have both: theaters that produce family friendly, uplifting, fun and spirited performances and theaters that create intellectual, deeply emotional, and thought provoking shows. I strongly believe Roanoke can sustain both because good theater feeds more theater. Quality productions will never be in competition with each other because they will make the audience hungry for more!

How much money do you need to accomplish the project? (The allowed range is $500 – $3,000.)$3000 would be amazing, but any assistance is deeply appreciated
What other resources do you need to accomplish the project?

I am still working towards solidifying a venue. I am currently in discussions with Ursula’s Cafe, Showtimers Community Theatre, and The Roanoke Ballet Theatre to host the run of the production.

I need to confirm my list of performers once all show dates have been chosen.

I will need to design & print flyers for advertising.

Attach a full budget for your project. Include all costs and revenues. This can be a spreadsheet, word document, PDF, or image.White-Rabbit_Red-Rabbit-Estimated-Budget-Sheet1.pdf
Do you have general liability insurance coverage for your arts-based business, either through your own policy or through a project partner?Insurance will be through the host venue & all performers will sign waivers stating that they are liable for any damages to the venue property or any accidental self-inflicted injury during the performance.