"The Nashville Monologues" explores diversity’s dark side

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The cast of the Nashville Monologues. Photo providedThis Halloween weekend, while all things creepy, crawly and bumping in the night will strike fear in the hearts of Nashvillians, Trish Crist is hoping to scare up awareness of the reality of intolerance in the mid-state.

On Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m., Crist and a cast of local actors will bring “The Nashville Monologues,” a production that shines the spotlight on real-life discrimination in our city, to The Darkhorse Theater.

Crist is the creative director of the Rhubarb Theatre Company, a local enterprise that aims to celebrate diversity through its productions. For this production, however, Crist sought a new perspective.

“For Halloween, I wanted very much to do a show that legitimately frightened me and others, so I turned to the dark side of diversity issues,” she said. “Since we honor tolerance, we’re looking at intolerance this Halloween season.”

After soliciting true stories from Nashville denizens, Crist says she has compiled a selection “from and about Nashvillians” that exposes discrimination based on sexual orientation, physical appearance, physical and mental disabilities, religious beliefs and even off-beat hobbies.

The Nashville Monologues” runs Oct. 30 – Nov. 7 at the Darkhorse Theater.

Tickets cost $12.

Click here for more information.

“People generously responded to my call for stories of personal experiences of discrimination or bias,” Crist said of the construction of the monologues. “They are … gifts from the public.”

While Crist, who also directs, wrote some of the monologues based on the publics’ submissions, she said about half will be performed exactly as they were sent in.

Despite the glum topic of intolerance, Crist hints that there will be a dash of cheer to complement the implicit fear of the proceedings.

“You might think it would be hard to write a funny show about discrimination,” she said. “But the things we as humans judge each other on can be so very absurd that sometimes the best way to examine a type of bias is through a comic piece.”

While the monologues highlight some spine-tingling incidences of discrimination in Music City, she insists that their purpose is to edify its citizens through awareness.

“I love our city, as does the entire cast and crew,” she said. “This show is a look at how the various puzzle pieces that make up Music City fit together and how we might each contribute to that.”