The world's largest solo theatre festival, established in 2010 at Theatre ROW on 42nd Street in Manhattan, has grown to more than twice its original size. One hundred solo productions will be presented between October 11 and November 18, 2012, among them fifteen shows by artists who successfully performed at the United Solo Festival in the past.
During the six-week run, productions returning by popular demand, as well as those that received United Solo awards, will be presented in a special ENCORE category. Fifty-two one-woman shows and forty-eight one-man shows are coming from four continents, fourteen countries and nineteen U. S. states. Categories include: drama, storytelling, live music, stand-up, poetry, multimedia and interactive shows, among others.
Slash Coleman will open the Festival with NEON MAN AND ME, an award-winning, nationally televised PBS Special that illustrates how men can talk openly about their feelings related to bereavement, loss and male friendship. NPR found it "extremely provocative and entertaining." (Oct. 11 at 7:30pm)
Bill Bowers, who received the Best Production award in 2010, returns this year with another personal story entitled BEYOND WORDS. New York Times' Ken Jaworowski described this combination of mime, music and monologue as "engaging to the eye and ear." (Oct. 29 at 9:00pm & Nov. 3 at 2:00pm)
Austin Pendleton (United Solo Best Director Awards 2010 & 2011) directs Grace Kiley in LONGING FOR GRACE, a biographical portrayal of the late Princess of Monaco exploring the cost of abandoning one's dreams. (Nov. 2 at 9:00pm)
Five-time Grammy nominee performer LynnMarie Rink and Emmy-winning producer Paul Miller bring a music show WRAP YOUR HEART AROUND IT, a collection of stories and songs about LynnMarie's growing up in a dysfunctional immigrant family, being the adult child of an alcoholic, a parent with a special needs child, and a fumbling, faith-searching woman. (Oct. 18 at 7:30pm)
Mark Gindick, a physical comedian and clown featured by PBS, is back with WING-MAN, United Solo's 2011 Best One-Man Show, in which without a single spoken word he builds a romantic relationship with the audience and encourages to say less and lust more. (Oct. 15 at 6:00pm & Nov. 5 at 6:00pm)
Among other noteworthy participants are: Broadway veteran Ann Morrison; 2011 Canadian Comedy Award winner Daniel Stolfi; two-time Best-in-Fringe NYC winner and Best Storyteller at 2011 United Solo, Antonio Sacre; pop singer Leandra Ramm, known for her appearances on Anderson Cooper 360°, The View, and Good Morning America; John Jiler, author of an award-winning Broadway musicalAVENUE X; and Zoe Weil, a two-time TEDx speaker.
Artists will compete for the Festival's grand prix (best production award), as well as other awards, such as best in acting, best script, and the audience award. Winners will be announced on the United Solo Closing Ceremony held on November 18, 2012 at Theatre ROW. United Solo will conclude by a presentation of the annual uAward, which honors an outstanding solo performer. This year's nominees are Kathy Griffin, John Hurt, Hugh Jackman, and John Leguizamo.
Tickets priced at $18 are available through Telecharge (212.239.6200 and telecharge.com), and in person at the Theatre ROW Box Office. For the full list of performers, the Festival Schedule and more information about United Solo shows, go to www.unitedsolo.org and click "ufest."