After graduating with my BFA in Performance at University of Idaho, I arrived back in my native Seattle ready to bring what I'd learned as an actor to both the stage and screen. It took a little while to get my bearings as my city was changing rapidly and life moved faster than I had ever experienced before - I married my best friend, found a day job, moved apartments, found another (more creative) day job, moved apartments again, watched neighborhoods transform, see friends move away and move back... I observed transformations in more than just buildings and streets; people and communities were shifting too, some positive and some negative. Some voices grew louder while others were hushed; I noticed that various narratives were being told over and OVER again while others were pushed aside and ignored. I realized that in all this time as things ebbed and flowed around me, there was change in me as well, in my perspective, in my goals and ambitions. I recognized that even MORE needed to change and that I was more interested in being a catalyst for making it happen.
MonoMyth formed when Cathy and Charlie Herzog, Britt Hobson, my husband Sean Gillies and I understood that we wanted to produce original works and more than that, we needed to see and hear DIFFERENT perspectives. We want to see more people of color, immigrants and first-generation Americans onstage and speak their words they put to paper, experience LGBTQ-driven narratives, showcase the talents of the disabled and differently-abled, and bring to light diverse cultural, religious and political ideologies - just to name a few goals of ours.
Theatre and performance art in its many forms is meant to not only entertain and bring us together but to also act as a mirror of our truth - shedding light on our similarities and differences, both the beautiful and the unsightly. It is our objective to reflect the make-up of Seattle and America as a whole and to stop denying ourselves the opportunities to confront our comfort zones and challenge what we've been told is 'normal'. We are all on our own journey's and none of them are 'normal' or 'average'. Every peak and mountain has different terrain, and every approach to the climb is going to be extraordinary and we are interested in observing them all.
- Cady Smola, Artistic Director
Monomyth was a term that Joseph Campbell borrowed from James Joyce’s book, ‘Finnegan’s Wake’. The term monomyth brings to life the cycle of The Hero’s Journey. This is a common narrative to show the hero’s journey towards self-discovery and transformation through obstacles and challenges that are constantly forcing a stop to this journey. This was first discussed as a term in ‘The Hero with A Thousand Face’ and this journey can be seen stitching together a plethora of stories, including those of Buddha and Jesus.
I can understand why this term can be considered too general when discussing the endless myths and legends that exist in the known world. It’s a broad term, and to think that this one term could encompass all mythology is a serious oversite. Mythology is a unique look into the identity of a culture, and we would do ourselves a disservice if we assumed that every story was the same idea regurgitated over and over again. There are so many fascinating cultures in the world, and myths build a bridge that allows us to discover these people who, in the end, aren't so different from us.
To me, the term monomyth reaches far past the Hero’s journey. I feel like it provides a link between worlds. That isn’t to say that all mythology is still prevalent to our culture (I’m looking at you, Merlin – your antiquated views of females does not impress me) but there still is so much to learn about ourselves and our ancestors from these stories. We all know that the world isn’t a clean cut fight of good vs. evil, but for a modern audience, that isn’t the most important part of a myth. Monomyth is the idea that the journey comes full circle, and lives as a connection between us all. We are still walking the same paths that those who came before us tread. It’s imperfect, but so are stories.
Britt Hobson, Dramaturg
Who We Are
Charlie is a Seattle local that has been involved in lighting and set design since high school and graduated from the University of Idaho in 2011 with a BFA in Theatrical Lighting Design. He has worked professionally with the Bellevue School District as Master Electrician, as a designer for local theatre and is an expert in helping actors find their light and making them look pretty.
Cady is native to the Seattle area and graduated in 2012 with her BFA in Performance from the University of Idaho. For the past four years she has performed and directed in various stage, commercial and film productions in the Seattle area including Assistant Directing Taphouse with Copious Love at the Ballard Underground last summer and most recently tried her hand at burlesque earlier this spring.
Cathy graduated from the University of Idaho in 2011 with her Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Stage Management. She has lived in Seattle for the past three and a half years, where she's been doing some local film and theatre work as an Assistant Director, Stage Manager, Prop Master and overall professional badass.
Britt was born and raised in the Seattle area and studied Theater and English at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. She moved back from the Southwest three years ago and began performing at the many amazing companies this city offers. She has performed in a variety of films and shows both in New Mexico and in Washington. An avid bookworm and always in pursuit of expanding her mind, she is looking forward to stepping behind the scenes as resident Dramaturg.
Sean was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to two Filipino immigrants and has lived all over the United States before calling Seattle home for the last three years. He started his career in film and theatre by earning a BFA in Theatrical Lighting Design with a minor in Digital Media. Sean is primarily a film writer/director and recently has been working as a freelance Gaffer for numerous projects in the city.