John Hardy Performs His One Man Play, RATTLESNAKE, Saturday April 15 in Monterey


The Highland County Arts Council is presenting a performance by actor John Hardy on Saturday, April 15.  Hardy will perform RATTLESNAKE, a one man play that he wrote and that he has been performing all around the country for about 20 years.

“I play every single character in the play, since it’s a one man show, which in this case is sixteen characters,” says Hardy.  “It’s about a man, who really his main ambition is to be a father, but he doesn’t really find a place in the world where he fits in, and by the way the beginning of the play takes place in Texas.  So, since he can’t really find a place to fit into the world, and therefore become a father, he meets the rattlesnake in west Texas and he becomes a connoisseur of the rattlesnake and, in fact, ends up being a noted chef due to his rattlesnake recipes.  And believe it or not, the play goes from west Texas, this introverted young man who wants to be a father meets the rattlesnake, but goes as far as Paris France where this young man ends up going because he’s becoming a noted chef.”

In addition to being an actor and a playwright, Hardy is a director.  During his 45 year career, he has directed over 140 professional productions.

“I was born in the west Texas desert, out in the middle of nowhere, but I grew up from age seven to adulthood in Newark, New Jersey, which, you can imagine the contrast between those two places,” says Hardy.  “But I would always return to west Texas, because that’s where my grandparents lived.  And so rattlesnakes and seeing rattlesnakes is not an unusual thing in my life.  One time my mom, who had just come back from the store, had met a man on the road on the way home and she told me that the guy was cutting his lawn and he stopped to move a rock and it turned out to be a coiled rattlesnake, who struck at him and just missed biting him.  And I took that information and just thought about it for awhile and from that tiny bit of inspiration this entire thing grows in my imagination.  Once I started researching it, it just seemed to create itself.”

According to Hardy, RATTLESNAKE is intended for adult audiences, although there is no strong language and nothing offensive in the play.  Audience members as young as ten years old have seen the play and enjoyed it, but the basic themes of the play are addressed from an adult perspective.

“It moves, its very fast and yet its understandable,” says Hardy.  “It may seem like an odd thing, a one person play, but every single person who sees it always tells me, the main thing I hear is, ‘I understood every single thing that was going on.  I knew exactly what was happening the whole time.’  And sometimes this comes from people who have never seen a play before.   I’m always amazed at how funny the play is.  You wouldn’t think a play would be funny, you know, rattlesnakes and an introverted young man doesn’t make for much laughter.  In fact, it’s hysterically funny.  There’s some big laughs in the thing where I have to wait ten, fifteen seconds for the audience to stop laughing.”

John Hardy will perform RATTLESNAKE on Saturday, April 15, at 7pm at The Highland Center in Monterey.  Admission is $10.

The Highland County Arts Council is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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