Dikran Tulaine

The Stories

   Sikes and Nancy, from Oliver Twist, is a brooding tale of Nancy's betrayal and murder. Fagin, surely one of Dickens greatest creations, drives his gang of villains, petty and brutal to do his bidding and save his skin. I find myself moved, more and more by Sikes and the profound dignity of Nancy as I tell their story.  45 minutes

   Bob Sawyers Party, from Pickwick Papers. Bob, a medical student, with a cash flow problem, tries his best to throw a party for Mr Pickwick and friends, the day rent is due. A study in English character, enthusiasm, eating habits and absurdity. 20 minutes

   The Christmas Carol. The mighty chestnut! Class warfare! Ghosts! And much more English food!      70 minutes.

     The Happy Prince, is exquisite romance, apparently light but heartbreaking to me. A plucky little swallow, flying South to winter in Egypt, stops for a rest at the palace of Sanssouci, and befriends a golden statue.                      25 minutes

Honore de Balzac
    Passion in the Desert  was suggested to me by a friend, many of these pieces came to me this way, and I struggled with it for a bit. A young soldier in Napolean's Army in Egypt is captured by Bedouin, escapes into the desert, encounters a Leopard, a Queen of the Sands, and a love story ensues.   20 minutes

​Kenneth Grahame
     Toad of Toad Hall from Wind in the Willows is one of the earliest I remember, and Toad was my 5 year old Falstaff. Animals, the river (we lived near the upper reaches of the Thames) English countryside and grown up human madness.    25 minutes

Richard Burton
    A Christmas Story.  A friend told me about this beautiful story from the great actor, the only book he ever published, before the days of Internet searches when it was impossible to find expect by poring through antique book-stores and getting lucky. The world changed and I found it online. About his eighth Christmas, remembered because it departed from the inexorable ritual. Goes very well as dessert after the Carol or stands alone with the masculine solitude of the Balzac.                20 minutes.

Mary Renault's Mask of Apollo is about an Actor, Nikeratos, in Classical Greece just after the Peloponnesian. He tells of his early days adventures as a rising star, the perils and pitfalls, the gossip and anecdotes. This is one I will expand as I go forward: the material and it's hold on my imagination are very strong.  
                                                                        60 minutes.

Shakespeare: My twelve or so favorite speeches. Richard111, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Macbeth, Marc Antony, O for a Muse of Fire!

                                                                        60 minutes.

   I am also constantly playing with Hamlet as a solo piece: it is there, I have played it, but it isn't right yet. There is a Macbeth in the works, an evening of soliloquies, and reams of poetry I want to fashion into a show.

   The stories can be mixed and matched to fill an evening or done singly as part of something else. The Christmas Stories go well together, and the animal ones, Passion, Prince and Toad. Mask of Apollo involves some costume and is evolving, mask work I am very excited about! Otherwise production (lights, sound etc.) is minimal, I like to see who I am talking too. I am thinking about wireless microphones but prefer live sound unless necessary. I have played 40 seat rooms to vast churches and theaters. A long time ago we played the Cottesloe at the Royal National in London: Bob Sawyers Party a few hundred yards from where it was set!   

Press: Huffington Post
Monica Bauer, Playwright and retired Political Science Professor; former Writing Fellow at Quinnipiac University, for the Huffington Post.

"Underneath all the tech wizardry of Broadway, the glitter and glitz and high kicks and special effects, there is just story. And sometimes, story is what we really crave. Children first learn to love literature when someone tells them a story for the first time. And then, the endless pleas; “Tell it again! Tell it again!”
I felt like I reconnected with my story-loving inner child when I saw accomplished actor Dikran Tulaine hold an audience in the palm of his hand recently at an intimate off-off Broadway theater. Stage Left Studio specializes in solo shows, and that encompasses quite a range, from personal tales of comedy and tragedy to evenings of great literature. Dikran has over 20 years of professional experience in the UK and the U.S., in stage, film, and TV. His training at the Drama Centre of London provided him with tools needed to succeed in all these styles of acting, but left him with a special love for classic tales, told in front of a live audience.
The first story he shared was the classic tale from Oliver Twist, The Death of Nancy, a piece of dramatic prose that Dickens himself toured with for years. Even if you know what’s coming, the way the story builds suspense, and the way master actor Dikran Tulaine embodies each character with the ease of a practiced magician, soon carries you away. In theatrical terms, this is called “uniting the audience”: those special moments when everyone breathes at the same time, hanging on every word.
The second story in the evening is Wild and Terrible Majesty by Honore de Balzac. I was completely unfamiliar with this work, and was worried it would be overheated prose only an English major could love. Instead, it was a thrill ride of a piece, a confrontation between a human being and the raw natural world, a desert encounter with a wild beast. There is a dance between the beast and the human that touched a universal place I believe we all have, where we suddenly come face to face with our own animal natures. Just a few blocks away was Times Square, a High-Def marketplace of ads for musicals and boxer shorts cheek by jowl, vying for our split-second attention. But inside Stage Left Studio, we were led by the compelling presence of Dikran Tulaine into the desert. And we willingly followed, completely engrossed by one man sitting in a chair on an otherwise bare stage.
There’s a time and a place to see The Lion King, and a time and a place to sit in a small theater, inches away from a great actor, who brings you face to face with nature, red in tooth and claw. If you haven’t been told a story in a long time, come down to Stage Left Studio. Like the rest of the audience the night I saw Dikran perform, you may also find yourself thinking at the end, “Tell it again! Tell it again!”"

Follow Monica Bauer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Monicadrama

Upcoming events:

Vengeance: A Love Story Directed by Johnny Martin   Nic Cage, Don Johnson
September 15, 2017

Geostorm: Directed by Dean Devlin
Opens October 20, 2017

Baruch PAC, 55 Lexington, NY, NY 10010
 October 8-28, 2017