EVENT: Rethinking the Barbarian
WHEN: Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 at 8pm
WHERE: APEX Theatre Studio (5150 Palm Valley Road, Unit 215, Ponte Vedra, FL 32082)
TICKETS: $20 through Eventbrite
Storyteller Derek Coghlan yearns for Americans to think outside of themselves. The Irish performer tells his own immigration story from a small hometown in Ireland across the pond to Florida in his latest one-man show, Rethinking the Barbarian. Through a series of monologues, Coghlan discusses his time in Irish nightclubs in Mullingar, an abundance of unfortunate jobs in Jacksonville Beach, and the experience of running bars in St. Augustine and Crestview.
“I finish the show with a reminder of the importance of immigrants to America,” says Coghlan, who composed Barbarian as a response to a sweeping fear of illegal immigrants he’s noticed. “Each wave is greeted with fear and hatred, most particularly from the most recent wave.”
“I wanted people to know that I was illegal for two years but that I, like many former undocumented workers, am not the enemy.”
Much of the Barbarian script emerged during a heightened political climate. “I wanted people to know that I was illegal for two years but that I, like many former undocumented workers, am not the enemy,” says Coghlan.
Yet Coghlan is known throughout the region for his comedic performances. As a core storyteller on the live podcast Swamp Radio and performer throughout Florida since his mid-twenties, he’s at home in the spotlight. Audiences can expect simultaneous laugh-out-loud humor and hard-hitting themes from this performance of Barbarian.
“The stories have to connect,” says Coghlan of his writing. While he states that his writing comes from a place of anger, his performances always stem from humor and empathy. “There has to be a universal quality to them. But they also have to be deeply personal. I try to focus on seminal moments in my journey and tell those stories while hoping to communicate a larger message.”
Don’t miss Rethinking the Barbarian this weekend, March 24 and 25, at APEX Theatre Studio (5150 Palm Valley Road, Unit 215, Ponte Vedra, FL 32082). The curtain rises at 8pm. Tickets cost $20 and are available through Eventbrite.