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Millionmonkeys

Lauren Arnest, Mark Arnest

"We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."

--Professor Robert Wilensky of the University of California

About us

At millionmonkeys.us, we're betting that Prof. Wilensky is wrong. With vision, perseverance and some discreet payments to members of the city's zoning board, our monkeys are already hard at work.

Our original business plan called for an infinite number of monkeys. However, subsequent analysis indicated that this was impractical. An infinite number of monkeys, for instance, would require infinite quantities of monkey chow - and would produce an infinite amount of some undesirable by-products.

Even a million monkeys pose challenges. There's squabbling and cliquishness that inevitably affects any society. Just as in any company, there are trouble-makers and malcontents.

Nor are the limitations solely on the monkeys' side. What happens when one strays outside our areas of expertise? What looks like gibberish to us may in fact be an elegant solution to the Goldbach Conjecture - but we lack the analytical tools to evaluate it.

For that reason, we take a closer look at the monkeys' output only when it appears to relate to our interests: music and the theater - and especially when those are combined.

Of course, we do not expect the monkeys to produce polished manuscripts. Our accomplished editorial and creative staff takes over where the monkeys leave off. A well-turned phrase or an interesting plot twist is often enough to get our own creative juices flowing. Sometimes the inspiration is more indirect: A sheet of paper, hammered for hours with the caps lock on, stained with coffee and smeared with bits of banana, conveys a sense of energy and inspiration that sometimes is as good as the real thing.

While we're not expecting a "Hamlet" or a "Don Giovanni," our faith in our simian partners has not gone unrewarded. They have already supplied us with several political slogans - "Change That's Good," anyone? - scripts for some alternative episodes of "Dukes of Hazzard," and numerous limericks involving "a gal from Wasilla."

Let the adventure continue!

Mark and Lauren Arnest
Proprietors
millionmonkeys.us

Links

Erik Bryan - Baritone, Knights of Labor website

Bios

Mark Arnest has been composing music for the theater since 1987. Major works include Iron & Gold (in progress), a musical about railroads, robber barons, and labor in nineteenth-century America; Pike's Dream (2006), a one-act opera about Zebulon Pike's 1806 western expedition, winner of a Pikes Peak Arts Council award; and All About Love (1997), a musical adaptation of Plato's Symposium, premiered by the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs, TheatreWorks. Instrumental works include  Toward the Garden (2009), written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Garden of the Gods being given to the city of Colorado Springs, also winner of a Pikes Peak Arts Council award; and Theme and Meditations (2001), premiered by the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs. Mark teaches music theory and composition at the Colorado Springs Conservatory. He also plays the piano, reaching the semifinals of the Rocky Mountain Amateur Piano Competition in 2002 and 2004. He has also cowritten (with wife Lauren) five nonmusical plays, including the full-length farce Maynard Dines In. From 1993 to 2008, Mark was arts writer for the Colorado Springs Gazette. His arts criticism was recognized three times by the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors: second place in 2008, first place in 2002, and honorable mention in 1999.

Lauren Krohn Arnest has been writing plays since she started accompanying husband Mark to the theater in 1993, when he became an arts writer for the Colorado Springs Gazette. Together with Mark she has written a full-length farce, Maynard Dines In (2004), and six one-act or short plays. Along the way she added lyrics (All About Love 1997) and librettos (Iron & Gold [forthcoming]; Pike's Dream 2006) to her repertoire. With Mark and others, Lauren has helped develop a series of small plays with orchestral accompaniment to teach children about classical music, the Uncle Wilbur Series (2009). Who could have known that that intractable daydreaming habit of hers could actually pay off? Prior to this she worked in the legal publishing field for many years and has done freelance editing of all genres since 1995. She holds a BA degree in Russian language (1976) and a JD from Stanford Law School (1979).

Navigation

Iron & Gold
Pike's Dream
All About Love

Maynard Dines In

One Acts and Shorts

Uncle Wilbur Series

Contact us Mark Arnest Lauren Arnest

Performing Arts

Martin Irons

Stephen Jay Gould

Jim Fisk

Great Southwest Strike, Gold Corner

Iron & Gold the story of two men, two obsessions, and how they clashed. Jay Gould, the legendary nineteenth-century robber baron, and Martin Irons, a skilled machinist, dedicated champion of justice for the weak, and a leader of one chapter of the Knights of Labor.

Pike's Dream

Pike's Dream Commissioned by the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and performed by faculty and students of the Colorado Spring's Conservatory in the summer of 2006 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Zebulon Montgomery Pike's western expedition, during which he explored much of the Southwest including present-day Colorado.

All About Love

All About Love The lights go up on Agathon's very elegant Manhattan penthouse, decorated in Greek revival style: tile floor, reclining couches, columns, and a view from the window overlooking Athens/New York. The guests enter during the hangover music, shunning the proffered cocktails. They are all wearing tuxedos, except Agathon, who wears a smoking jacket.

Maynard Dines In

Maynard Dines In Maynard Dines In is a modern farce in two acts, complete with deception, mistaken identities, mayhem, and a surprise ending. Religion, art, gay marriage, starving nonprofit arts organizations, and insider trading?this play has it all. It may be the only play in which the Securities and Exchange Commission plays a crucial role.

One Acts and Shorts

One Acts and Shorts
YourArmyTM
Failing Consumption
The Cafeteria
Bilorbob
Princess

Uncle Wilbur Series

The Uncle Wilbur Series The lessons revolve around a magical character named Uncle Wilbur who somehow lives inside an old piano that has come into the possession of the protagonists' family.

Contact us

We would love to hear from any monkeys with the next greatest work of literature.

Mark and Lauren Arnest
Qwerty@millionmonkeys.us