Published on October 7th, 2013 | by TLV News0
Ole Miss Theatre presents: A Mind Full of Dopamine – Written and Performed by Rory Ledbetter
Meek Auditorium at Ole Miss
Suggested Donation: $5.00
All proceeds go towards funding Theatre Arts Scholarships
“A Mind Full of Dopamine” is a comedic solo-show delving through the depths of a mind powered by dopamine. Using storytelling, characters, philosophy and snippets of Shakespeare, Rory takes us down a roller coaster filled with high risks and sometimes big rewards. It’s a hero’s journey laced with riots, romance and harmonicas. And at least one lucky viewer gets a prize!
Interview by Nature Humphries:
Is this the first solo show that you’ve written and performed? Yes. You could say I’ve been working all my life to create this one. I’ve created small portions before (20 minutes at most), but never a full 60 minute show until now. This has been a great experience and there will be more solo shows to come in the future.
What is the most challenging aspect of performing solo as opposed to with a cast and crew? The hardest thing is finding the stamina for a full 60 minutes and realizing that you’re performing without a safety net. Usually acting about listening to your scene partner and then responding. in a solo show you’re just listening to yourself and the audience, who isn’t saying much at all, and responding.
What was your inspiration for writing A Mind Full of Dopamine? The original impetus came from a series of childhood and family stories that I was putting together. However, I had to come up with a title before I had finished writing it. I had taken an online personality quiz on Chemistry.com some years ago that proceeded to tell me that I had a high concentration of dopamine in my system. It seemed silly, but after reading the description of the dopamine-thrill seeking mentality I thought, “Whoa, this is me!” Using A Mind Full of Dopamine as a descriptor for myself I began researching dopamine and how its presence influences behavior. The more and more researched dopamine, the more and more I realized that I indeed have a mind full of dopamine, and the rest of the stories used in the show unfolded from there.
We see this play described as a “tragicomic thrill ride”…more comedy or tragedy? A little more comedy than tragedy, but definitely some tragedy. The show ends on a positive note, but it definitely takes a turn towards the dark side of town along the way.
Tell us a little bit about the Theatre Arts Scholarships program. Every year the Theatre Arts Department offers up to 25 Theatre Merit Scholarships based on auditions and portfolio reviews. The scholarships are very competitive and act as a recruiting tool and a means to provide financial assistance to talented theatre majors.
Get to Know Your Local Folks:
Name: Rory Ledbetter
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
How long have you been in Oxford? Five years
Favorite playwright and play: Alan Ayckbourn, The Norman Conquests
Favorite actor: Tom Hanks
Favorite movies: O Brother, Big Fish, Galaxy Quest
What are you reading? Voice and Speech Training in the New Millennium: Conversations with Master Teachers by Nancy Saklad
What’s on your iPod? Cake
Where is your favorite place to eat in Oxford? Rice & Spice
Android or iPhone? iPhone!
What are you looking forward to most this fall? My Birthday