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DALLAS SOLO FEST 2019

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Solo Fest Q&A: Jaye Lee Vocque

Next in our interviews with the artists of the fifth Dallas Solo Fest, California multi-hyphenate Jaye Lee Vocque on playing court jester.



published Sunday, June 2, 2019

Editor's Note: The 2019 Dallas Solo Fest runs June 6-16 at Theatre Too, the downstairs space of Theatre Three in Dallas' The Quadrangle. Our coverage of the event will include interviews with all eight artists, and we'll also review each show as well. To see more info about the performers and their shows, as well as info on tickets, go here. All of our DSF coverage appears in a special section on TheaterJones. You can click the Dallas Solo Fest 2019 section title at the top of this page to see more articles. A full schedule of the festival appears at the bottom of this interview.

In this one: Jaye Lee Vocque of Stockton, California, on his autobiographical Based on Actual Events. His first performance is 10 p.m. on Friday, June 7.

 

Photo: Gabriel Hurley
Jaye Lee Vocque in Based on Actual Events

Dallas — Playwright-performer-poet-technician Jaye Lee Vocque adds “jester” to his growing list of artistic disciplines in his solo performance Based on Actual Events. Hailing from Stockton, California, Vocque will bring his autobiographical (as told by court fool) performance to the first weekend of Dallas Solo Fest. We chatted with him via email.

 

TheaterJones: What was your writing process like for this piece, and how long have you been working on it?

Jaye Lee Vocque: The writing of this piece started with my mother's passing (10 years ago this August) and the promise I made to her about going out and telling MY story.

The process took a few years as I dug through family photos, talked to people who were there at some stories, and sort through my own memories. In the end I needed to treat this as my introduction to you. So, the editing became clearer, with my director Tony Yaghi's much-needed help, as I decided which stories to share this time.

 

This is the beginning of touring this piece outside of California for you. If you had your pick, where would you like to head next?

2019 has seen me take it out-of-state, first to Tucson for their Fringe Festival, and now I'm honored to be taking it to the Dallas Solo Fest. In all honesty I'd love to take it everywhere but there is a part of me that feels like the symmetry of continuing cross country and landing in Orlando would be nice. Part of the story takes place there, so it'd be fun to bring it there.

 

This story is very much yours, and while the character you play is yourself, it is you as a "modern-day jester." Which aspects of the "jester" archetype did you connect with in writing this piece and which have you modernized?

The Jester. He's the fool. He entertains nobility and common alike while never fully being either. I like the duality of both entertaining and not belonging to the same group. I believe a lot of creative people feel like they "don't belong." Beyond that, when you see the Jester in King Lear he is about honesty. My story is about my honest life. I hold nothing back to you or to Lear.

Taking those elements, I tell my story. Trying always to entertain, to be honest, and to belong. You will see me walking around and can spot (from a distance) what elements I physically take from the Jester.

 

You're certainly a multi-hyphenate creative: you're an award-winning poet, you spent 20 years working in technical theater, and many more as an actor. Which aspect of your artistic voice did you connect with the most in crafting this performance?

My director noticed I used a lot of poetry in Based on Actual Events. Alliteration, sometimes a rhyme or two, certain descriptive tones, etc. Truthfully, I feel I leaned heavily on my puppetry experience. Making the mundane exciting and treating even the sad moments with humor. My mom first got me into puppetry when she saw how much I was focused on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. I list Jim Henson as my personal hero, and I guess his voice still influences how I tell a story.

 

Whiskey plays a part in this tale. What's the jester's go-to hangover remedy?

Okay, you and everyone else is going to hate me for saying this but ... I have never had a hangover. Call it good genes (if so, trust me, it's the only thing they are good for) or the fact I drink plenty of water (especially when I drink alcohol) but I have been lucky.

So, I guess, HYDRATE! Hydration is my go-to hangover remedy.

 

 

DALLAS SOLO FEST 2019 SCHEDULE

 

Thursday, June 6

7:00 pm... Sexology: The Musical! by Melanie Moseley

8:30 pm...  Girl Dad by Justin Lemieux

 

Friday, June 7

7:00 pm...  Cyrano A-Go-Go by Brad McEntire

8:30 pm...  Sexology: The Musical! by Melanie Moseley

10:00 pm... Based on Actual Events by Jaye Lee Vocque

Saturday, June 8

5:30 pm... Cyrano A-Go-Go by Brad McEntire

7:00 pm... Based on Actual Events by Jaye Lee Vocque

8:30 pm...  Critical, Darling! by Brigham Mosley

10:00 pm... Sexology: The Musical! by Melanie Moseley

 

Sunday, June 9

3:00 pm... Based on Actual Events by Jaye Lee Vocque

5:30 pm... Critical, Darling! by Brigham Mosley

7:00 pm... Cyrano A-Go-Go by Brad McEntire

 

Thursday, June 13 

7:00 pm... The Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden by Carmel Clavin

​8:30 pm... Who You Calling a Bitch?!? By Sacha Elie

 

 

Friday, June 14

7:00 pm... Girl Dad by Justin Lemieux

8:30 pm... Keeping Up with the Jorgensons by Jeremy Julian Greco

10:00 pm... The Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden by Carmel Clavin

Saturday, June 15

5:30 pm...  The Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden by Carmel Clavin

7:00 pm... Who You Calling a Bitch?!? By Sacha Elie

8:30 pm... Critical, Darling! by Brigham Mosley

10:00 pm... Keeping Up with the Jorgensons by Jeremy Julian Greco

 

Sunday, June 16

3:00 pm... Keeping Up with the Jorgensons by Jeremy Julian Greco

5:30 pm... Who You Calling a Bitch?!? By Sacha Elie

7:00 pm...  ​ Girl Dad by Justin Lemieux Thanks For Reading





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Solo Fest Q&A: Jaye Lee Vocque
Next in our interviews with the artists of the fifth Dallas Solo Fest, California multi-hyphenate Jaye Lee Vocque on playing court jester.
by Haley Nelson

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