Kentucky native Ben Sollee | Courtesy of Ben Sollee

Cellist, composer and storyteller Ben Sollee continues to take on new and different projects, from providing a musical accompaniment for a yoga class at the Speed Art Museum to scoring StageOne Family Theatre‘s “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”

And just this week, Actors Theatre received a $40,000 “exploration grant” from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; in collaboration with Sollee, Actors will use the funds to explore new ways to engage young audiences through the use of technology and new media.

In Wednesday’s grant announcement, here’s what Actors artistic director Les Waters had to say about Sollee: “Actors Theatre has had the privilege of collaborating with Ben Sollee on two previous projects. He is a unique and inspired artist and we are thrilled to partner with him to explore audience development through new media, technology, and music. I can think of no one more suited for this collaboration than Ben. He is a celebrated musician and a treasured Kentucky native. We are honored to receive this extraordinarily rare opportunity.”

With more than 10 full lengths, EPs and soundtracks under his belt since 2008, it’s hard to imagine the Kentucky music landscape without Sollee.

In recent weeks, Sollee has been busy juggling projects, including “Harold” — which continues Saturday, March 26, and Saturday, April 2, at the Kentucky Center — so he kept his answers to our questions short and sweet…

A young Mikhail Baryshnikov
A young Mikhail Baryshnikov

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

To become a teacher.

What poster was on your wall in junior high?

Mikhail Baryshnikov.

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

Jessica Murr (BenSollee.com project manager).

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

Sausage and jalapeño.

All this photo needs in a cello.
All this photo needs in a cello.

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

8 years old.

What famous person do people say you resemble the most?

Kanye West.

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?

Caitlin, my wife.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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