"A Window Cut Into a Soul" - Frank Boyd at City Arts Magazine Dec 30, 2014

by Erin

City Arts Magazine on Frank Boyd's The Holler Sessions:

Inside a cramped, dingy radio studio in Kansas City, Miss., an equally dingy jazz DJ is on a tirade against Rolling Stone or Mark Wahlberg or some equally infuriating travesty of pop culture. In the background, Duke Ellington’s “Basin Street Blues” plays; a trumpet solo starts and DJ Ray’s stream-of-consciousness commentary follows, relief washing over his face. This song, he declares, should be our national anthem—fuck that Francis Scott Key ‘’tis of thee’ bullshit. “What does that have to do with anything? This is us. It feels like us. It has all the layers.”

This continuous broadcast is the spine of The Holler Sessions, the solo show from writer-actor Frank Boyd premiering at On the Boards this month. Ray—played by Boyd—buzzes around his tiny, taupe-colored kingdom. The walls are covered with sticky notes, the floor with peanut shells. A coffee pot, a sad plant. Filing cabinets. The height of office-park drab. But when Ray spins a record, he’s exactly where he wants to be.

He’s never still, even when he’s motionless—sitting head tilted, eyes closed behind black sunglasses—listening so actively he practically hums. His humility and passion are palpable. Jazz is his life, the way he meets the world.

This simple, weighty one-act isn’t so much a story as a window cut into a soul. Ray eats, drinks coffee, expounds, listens, swears, makes connections and shouts into the void. Time passes; who knows how much? As theatre, The Holler Sessions is both unconventional and completely accessible. Boyd is a New York-trained actor who’s worked all over the world and called Seattle home for more than five years. For the first time, he brings his original work—emotional, intellectual, hilarious and honest—to the local stage. It has all the layers.

Read the rest of the in-depth article on Boyd and his work at
City Arts Magazine.
Photo by Tim Summers.