Monday Monologues to start semester with theater performance


As a part of the “Monday Monologues” series, “Haunting Halloween Readings” was performed in front of the Grant Wood’s mural in Parks Library on Oct. 29. This series is curated by Iowa State faculty.

Logan Metzger

Creating a space for appreciation and love of the arts and spoken word, Monday Monologues is returning this semester with five new performances on select Mondays.

The first of these performances will take place from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Monday in the Grant Wood Foyer in Parks Library. Due to the performances taking place over lunchtime, attendees are encouraged to stop in for as long as their schedule allows. Lunch is available for purchase in the Bookends Café.

“The idea is to use that space for spoken word or readings, theater, all sorts of ways that connect words […] to make them alive instead of just online or in print,” said Susan Jasper, program coordinator for Parks Library.

This Monday’s performance will give attendees a glimpse of Vivian Cook’s “Climate Change Theatre Action: Lighting the Way,” which is a series of short plays aimed to address climate change issues and serve as a call to community action in partnership with the international Climate Change Theatre Action initiative.

“What the students are doing is presenting some portions, excerpts, from the full play that they are doing as part of ISU theatre,” Jasper said.

Full-length performances will take place at Fisher Theatre Oct. 4-6, Parks Library’s lawn on Oct. 10 and at the Ames Public Library on Oct. 20. All performances are free admission with general seating.

Monday Monologues was started in Fall 2018 by Jasper when she joined Parks Library. She said it was one of her original programming ideas.

Jasper said Monday Monologues takes its inspiration from the world of words, books and language and sessions are curated by members of the Iowa State community.

Jasper said many speakers and performances come from the English department and the department of music and theatre, but she said any students, faculty and staff interested in presenting their work and sharing their story are welcome to talk with Jasper about presenting. Performances can range from poems, songs or plays on any number of topics.

“There aren’t a lot of spaces in the library that are not study spaces and Monday Monologues is just a way to use a space in a creative way for a short period of time,” Jasper said. “It makes Parks Library a place to go for more than just studying or lunch.”

Every Monday monologue is held in the Grant Wood Foyer which is part of Iowa State’s original 1925 Library. Today the room is defined by Wood’s mythical pioneer mural, “Breaking the Prairie Sod,” which was painted by his students in Iowa City from 1936-37 as well as a male and female student carved from limestone by Christian Petersen in 1943.