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The Rope In Your Hands: 5 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2012 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by The Happiest Medium on February 5, 2012

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Five Questions. Five Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?

The Rope In Your Hands

Written and performed by Siobhan O’Loughlin
Directed by Danielle Skraastad

The Rope in Your Hands, written and performed by Siobhan O’Loughlin, is an interview-based solo show featuring the stories of thirteen different survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Show Times:

  • Wed 2/22 @ 9:30pm
  • Sat 2/25 @ 8:00pm
  • Wed 2/29 @ 8:00pm
  • Sat 3/3 @ 11:00pm
  • Sun 3/4 @ 6:00pm

Answers by Siobhan O’Loughlin
(Writer, Performer)

Karen Tortora-Lee’s Question
That’s some title. How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?
Siobhan: The Rope in Your Hands is based on interviews I conducted with survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The title is an actual quote from a homeless man I interviewed in the French Quarter—he said to me, “You got a man drowning in a lake, huh? And you got a rope in ya hand? You don’t debate about whether or not you throw a man a rope!” For me, this embodies the show itself: if we have the ability to help each other, we should. The rope is in your hands as well as mine. It is in our hands.

Diánna Martin’s Question
If you were going to invite five people, anyone from past and present, to see your FRIGID show – who would you invite and why?
Siobhan: Honestly, right off the bat, I’d say the people I interviewed who became characters in the play. Granted, there are 13 of them, but the chance to have five would be wonderful. I’ve tried getting in touch with many of them, and their emails are faulty; or they simply don’t respond. I’ve only had one of my “characters” appear in my audience so far—Steve Hoeschele, who was an ACORN Crew Chief I worked with when I volunteered in New Orleans. He’s actually seen the show twice, and he loves it—which is a huge, huge compliment to me as a writer and performer who is trying to capture a moving portrait of a city. In the beginning of the show, I do a quick one liner from every character I have. At the end of the performance, Steve and his girlfriend were both elated—and he said to me, “I didn’t remember saying that line, but from the way you performed it, I knew it was me.”

Antonio Minino’s Question
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve ever made for your Art and was it worth it?
Siobhan: Right now, I would say the biggest sacrifice is a daily lifestyle one. I’ve chosen to live in New York City, with little stability, basically no job security or resources. All of us performer types have many skills and talents—we could all easily get a desk job that is salaried, provides health care and even a 401k. But if we were to do that, we’d sacrifice the chance to audition, to travel on a whim for our original work, to jump on board for any and every project. Artists are some of the hardest working people I know, and also the poorest. Is it worth it? I hope so. It’s gotta be. I’m gonna keep trying, that’s for damn sure.

Geoffrey Paddy Johnson’s Question
Was there any unexpected discovery made during the development of this production and, if so, can you share it?
There are constant discoveries that a solo performer makes about themselves and the world during their work. When I first created this project, I became instantly aware of how significant solo performance can be as a vessel for social change and political activism. With only one person on stage, the audience becomes the scene partner, creating an instant dialogue between the two. This is a marvelous experience and opportunity for the theatre to provide, and because of that, I think it is a greater instigator for social change and personal growth. There are very few solo shows I have seen that did not move me and inspire me immensely—and that is because I felt I was part of the performance, I felt the performer address me directly. I urge all audience members of the FRIGID New York Festival to please investigate as many solo shows as possible—I know that I will be! Solo performance is my favorite kind of theatre—it is raw, visceral, and powerful.

Michelle Augello-Page’s Question
What do you hope the audience receives from the experience of seeing this show?
Oh, there are so many things. I hope that they are moved by the extraordinarily personal and honest stories from these brave survivors of Hurricane Katrina. I hope that these stories compel audience members to initiate more dialogues with their friends, family, neighbors—about their stories, their truths, their personal journeys, which are so often magnificent stories of triumph as well. This is all to say that I hope The Rope in Your Hands brings a sense of community to the audience, that our community is important, is notable, is worth putting time into. I suggest that the rope be in everyone’s hands, for we all have a rope that we can use should we chose to. I suggest further that it is always worth throwing the rope and engaging in our communities. Whether that means Occupy Wall Street, volunteering at a homeless shelter or an animal shelter, donating time to your child’s school or community garden, cooking dinner for your roommates once a week, travelling to New Orleans or—most recently—Alabama, to do post-disaster storm relief, or even making sure you get to know the names of all of the people in your building, and saying hello to them—I truly believe that this sense of humanity is what rescues us, time and time again. There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Those who help, are helped.” I hope that The Rope in Your Hands fuels the audience with the courage to care.

Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

THM Bonus Question – We’re serious this year!
In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

Oh my goodness!! But I’m so NOT competitive! Um, okay. I guess I’d pick another solo show—there are several in The Red Room, so I’ll pick  I’m Only Explaining This Once.  I like the seemingly simple premise of this show and I can’t wait to see it. Therefore, I throw Moe a rock.

Wow, Siobhan – I kinda expected you to throw Moe a rope!  But that’s not allowed this year – only Rock, Paper or Scissors so you did the right thing, tossing over a big ole rock to I’m Only Explaining This Once. We have no idea what Moe will throw – but we do know that you’ve been challenged by Love In The Time Of Chlamydia and Judge, Yuri and Executioner. Both of them threw rock as well. SO!  Good thing you’re not competitve because both those resulted in a tie.  A tie!  How fitting for a rope.


Thanks The Rope In Your Hands for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2012 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially ROCK in any and all challenges. You may have a future win, you may not – who knows! This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!

For the rest of you don’t forget to check out The Rope In Your Hands!


The Rope in Your Hands
Directed by: Danielle Skraastad
Feb 22, 9:30PM
Feb 25, 8:00PM
Feb 29, 8:00PM
Mar 03, 11:00PM
Mar 04, 6:30PM
The Red Room


The 2012 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL will run February 22-March 4 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A). Tickets to all shows may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444.

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