SaraSolo Festival 2018 back for 4th Season With “Unique, Brave and Uplifting” Solo Artist performances by Florida, National and Internationally known Solo artists Returns January 27- February 4, 2018

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SaraSolo Festival 2018 back for 4th Season

With “Unique, Brave and Uplifting” Solo Artist performances by Florida,
National and Internationally known Solo artists

Returns January 27- February 4, 2018

SARASOTA, FL – The 2018 SaraSolo Festival, the fourth celebration of theatre and solo artists returns to Sarasota over two weekends, January 27 & 28 and February 3 & 4, 2018. This annual showcases an eclectic mix of 45-90 minute solo performances by 19 national and international artists – featuring music, dance, cabaret, comedy, magic, poetry, performance art, stand-up, storytelling and visual art creation as well as biographical, autobiographical and poetic plays.

 

For tickets, complete schedule of performances, times and dates, workshop registration go to www.SaraSolo.org. Or to contact the SaraSolo Festival by email at [email protected] or by phone at 941-479-8084 Follow us on Facebook @SaraSolo Festival. Also performers may be added and those listed are subject to change.

 

 

As one of Sarasota’s newest and most exciting arts festivals, performances are at Sarasota’s Pioneer Park historic site venue, Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th Street, Sarasota FL 34236 and The Starlite Room, popular cabaret and live music restaurant at 1001 Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236.

 

The popular “Betwixt Week” events will return for 4 weekday evenings between performance weekends (1/30- 2/2) offering workshops and performances held at The Reserve, Coffee House/Wine/Craft Beer Bookstore at 1322 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236. Workshops include:

 

Broadway actress/singer Ann Morrison’s Vocal Performance Master Class; Actor/Director Blake Walton’s Solo Playwriting Workshop, “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking With it”, and new “The Art of Kinetic and Theatrical Storytelling” workshop by St. Petersburg’s Master Storyteller Robert S. King.

They will be joined by three “Flying Solo” artists, who worked on their pieces with SaraSolo workshop leaders–Carole Kleinberg, Peg Harvey and Kathryn Chesley- presenting excerpts of works-in-progress performances worked on Friday, February 2, at 7:00pm at The Starlite Room.

 

 

Artistic Director Ann Morrison said, “We are proud to present SaraSolo’s fourth season. We have expanded beautifully, with more out of town performers and new local opportunities and explorations for Sarasota’s young performers who want to craft individual work through the “Flying Solo Jrs “program and Elders through their development of monologues about their lives in an “Elder Voices” program. Also 2018 SaraSolo artists continue to give back and connect with local service organizations such as Easter Seals.”

 

 

Ten SaraSolo Festival performers new to Sarasota audiences include:

 

Dancer, Instructor and Choreographer Elizabeth Bergmann finds an expression of discovery and celebration through her Poetry with Dance in “Coming To Myself”.

 

Willi Carlisle and his “There Ain’t No More!”, an award-winning tour-de-folk operetta based on legends of American folk music. Carlisle was recently honored with “Best Show of the Fringe” at the 2017 Orlando Fringe Festival.

 

Cody Clark, a full-time professional magician from Louisville, KY, who is on the Autism spectrum wows with honesty and charm in his magic show, “Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking”.

 

Lucas DeBard performing his cabaret “I’ll Take Romance”, was named winner of The American Songbook Foundation’s 2015 Songbook Academy competition and has sung at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and with Michael Feinstein at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York.

 

Canadian and Hermitage Artist Retreat artist Nisha Coleman performs “Self–Exile”, a rich and generous portrayal of misfits and weirdos and the rhythms of urban life. This is a moving story of a young woman who went to Paris for love and found her life.

 

New Yorker Walker Vreeland, recently premiered his humorous and moving autobiographical play with music, “From Ship To Shape” about losing your mind while chasing your dreams, the journey in pursuit of healing, and how a cruise ship can push you over the edge.

 

Daniel Leary hails from the mountains of Virginia with a background primarily in Appalachian Theater – storytelling and song in a series of vignettes, the style out of which his play “The Sleeping Child”, has grown.

 

Accomplished Tampa Bay Storyteller Robert S. King brings his family friendly magical storytelling adventure” Silly and Sassy and So Much More”, World Folktales, Mythology and Original Stories”.

 

Orlando Actor/Costumer Timothy Beltley relates funny tales from small to extra-large of his second career in “The Sewing Shop Show”.

 

New York comedian and former Sarasota resident Ashley Strand brings his comedic over-analysis, life affirming celebration–“Glorified Disasters/3 Sad Stories/1 Funny Guy”. Ashley Strand is the winner of the

2009 Hong Kong International Comedy Competition

*Suggested for Mature Audiences

 

 

Local area artists include:

 

— Dancer, Instructor and Choreographer Elizabeth Bergmann intertwines original modern dances with her sophisticated poetry in a profound and touching exploration of honesty and awakening self-discovery. A celebration through her Poetry with Dance in “Coming To Myself”. A World Premiere.

 

 

–Jazz chanteuse Diana Vytell brings her new cabaret show, “It’s About Time!”, musing about the role time plays in all our loves and lives in songs from the Broadway, Jazz, Pop and Classical songbooks. A World Premiere.

 

–Director/seminar coach Hedda Matza-Haughton steps out, presents several diverse funny and touching characters in her new original play set at a Healthy Aging Retreat, in “Inner Voices, Sex, Intimacy and Aging.” A World Premiere.

 

–Singer Brenda Watty brings her unique Motown singing and storytelling talent in a new take on her 15-year life as a girl-group singing veteran of The Marvelettes, (“Don’t Mess With Bill”, “Mr. Postman”) in “My Life As A Marvelette.”

 

–Actor/Singer Steve McAllister, last year’s “Cowboy Cabaret” Flying Solo artist, returns after discovering American humorist and singer Will Rogers in a recent theater production. Steve brings his talents (including roping tricks) in a new play on Rogers in “Will Rogers Revived”. A World Premiere.

 

–Author and actress Gabrielle Lennon, brings a full production of her play “Touch Me Real” based on the novella in her short story collection of the same name, returns to SaraSolo in full performances after developing her piece all year, with a preview at last year’s SaraSolo Festival.

 

— Karle Murdock collaborates in “Within the Light of Consciousness” mixing the Poetry with Fine Art (some of which is created onstage) of Gretchen Lum. A World Premiere

 

 

SaraSolo is the brainchild of Gotta Van Productions, Inc. a 501(C) (3) non-profit corporation. Doing business as SaraSolo Productions, Inc.  SaraSolo Productions believes in affordable theatre, in traditional and non-traditional spaces, that supports diversity, collaboration, and the transformative power of intimate theatre for both artists and audiences.  Our venues include festivals, fringe theatre, educational outreach, video, and online media.  SaraSolo Productions Inc. Artistic Director Ann Morrison and Associate Artistic Director Blake Walton are award winners in the world’s largest solo performance festival, The United Solo Festival in NYC.

 

What some people have said about the SaraSolo Festival experience–

 

“I perform in festivals all around the world, and am proud to count SaraSolo as one of them,” says Bill Bowers, a renowned Solo Artist who received rave reviews last year.  “It is an excellent festival with an enthusiastic, supportive audience- even in its first season.  Just think, in five years SaraSolo easily could be one of the top festivals in the country!”

 

 

“These solo flights were a lot of fun. We can’t wait until the next SaraSolo festival takes off.” – Marty Fugate, Longboat Key Observer

 

Sarasolo Festival                                                                          Jan Docking, President

USPS Box 3102, Sarasota FL 34230                                      Patty Snyder-Atkins, Treasurer

Ed Scully, Secretary; Alan Brasington, Carole                    Kleinberg, Carol Wolf, Dr. Louis Rowitz, Harmon Greenblatt

Ann Morrison, Co-Founder, Artistic Director                     Natalie Gundrum, Director Emeritus

Blake Walton, Co-Founder, Associate Artistic Director   David S. Coyle, Co-Founder, President Emeritus

                                                                                                           Advisory Group:

Carole Goff, Development Director                                        Rod Rawlings, Interim Chair, Gary Kauffman,

Kathie Moon Media Coordinator                                             Barbara Bullock

# # #

SARASOLO FESTIVAL 2018

Performance Schedule and Show Descriptions

 

 

SATURDAY JANUARY 27 @ Crocker

 

1 PM   Elizabeth Weil Bergmann – Sarasota

COMING TO MYSELF 

(Dance/Poetry)

In this world premiere, acclaimed Dancer, Mentor

Choreographer, and Instructor Elizabeth Weil Bergmann,

intertwines original modern dances with her sophisticated

poetry in a profound and touching exploration of

honesty and awakening self.

 

3 PM   Brenda Watty – Sarasota

BRENDA WATTY: LIFE AS A MARVELETTE

(Musical)

As a girl-group singing veteran and former 15-year

member of The Marvelettes, (“Don’t Mess With Bill”,

“Mr. Postman”) Brenda Watty sings out the hits and tells

stories about her experiences touring and rubbing elbows

with some of the most renowned musicians of the time.

 

5 PM   Willi Carlisle – Arkansas

THERE AIN’T NO MORE: DEATH OF A FOLKSINGER*

(Folk Operetta)

Arkansas-based folksinger, poet, musician, theatre

artist, scholar and square dance caller Willi Carlisle, in

collaboration with director Joseph Fletcher, mixes elements

of storytelling, clowning, folk songs, and puppetry to take the audience on a journey into the dark heart of “the old, weird America.” Through a dying folksinger’s story, he weaves it all together in a tapestry of laughter and tears.

*2017 Orlando Fringe “Best Show” and “Patrons Pick”

 

7 PM   Walker Vreeland – New York

FROM SHIP TO SHAPE*

(Autobiographical Musical)

Award-winning monologist, radio personality, producer, actor, singer and voice-over artist Walker Vreeland takes us on an honest journey of courage, heart, and incredible spirit, from cruise ship entertainer to a young man diagnosed with mental illness and finding sanity in the most unlikely of places.

*2017 United Solo Award winner “Best One-Man Musical”

“Best Direction of a Musical” (Milton Justice)

 

 

SUNDAY JANUARY 28 @Crocker

 

11:30 AM Elder Voices, Sarasota’s Elders (people 85 and older) tell their stories in monologue (Free Admission)

 

1 PM   Steve McAllister – Sarasota

WILL ROGERS REVIVED

(Biographical Play)

A visit with Will Rogers, one of America’s

greatest humorists, ‘in his own words’ with

near century-old political satire and downhome

humor, with surprisingly modern-day relevance.

 

3 PM   Tim Beltley – Orlando

THE SEWING SHOP SHOW

(Autobiographical Comedy)

When professional actor Tim Beltley dipped his toe

into the waters of costume design and set building,

he found himself immersed in a sea of sewing.

With funny and heartwarming stories, he draws us

into a world he never had dreamed of joining and

the way it would define his professional life.

 

5 PM   Cody Clark – Kentucky

CODY CLARK: A DIFFERENT WAY OF THINKING

(Autobiographical Play with Magic)

Cody Clark has a different way of seeing the world,

as his parents discovered when he was a child– he

has autism. Whether it’s finding the magic in an

everyday moment, or recreating an everyday mo-

ment with his magic, the magician’s art is never far

from his mind. Through stage magic and story,

sleight of hand and journey of mind, Cody shows

us the world through his eyes and maybe we’ll

find that his way of thinking isn’t all that

different from ours.

 

 

7 PM   Nisha Coleman – Canada

SELF-EXILE*

(Autobiographical Play)

Nisha Coleman is a writer, musician, storyteller,

and actor. SELF EXILE is a humorous and compelling exploration of alienation, mental health,

and self-identification, transporting the audience

from her hippie childhood in rural swampland

Canada to life as a street performer in Paris.

It is a celebration of our complicated selves and

what it really means to “be yourself.”

Artist in Residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat

*Centaur’s ”Best of the Fringe Award”

2016 Montreal

 

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2 @The Starlite Room

 

7 PM   FLYING SOLOs – Three Writers/Performers with works-in-progress @The Starlite Room

 

●Kathryn Chesley, “Doris Dinkle Dishes the Dirt”

Doris has been the personal assistant to Sarasota legendary socialite Bertha Palmer, from her years in Chicago at the turn of the century, to her arrival in Florida in 1910. With a comedian’s eye, Doris lets us in on the story, behind the scenes, and in the house of Bertha Palmer one afternoon when the “boss lady” is out.

 

●Peg Harvey, “Seven Blessings”

Binge-watcher and performer, Peg Harvey, gets off the couch!  After watching Game of Thrones, again, she reminisces with the help of The Seven-Faced God, the Deity of Westeros. The Maiden, The Mother, and the Crone inspire her to share some ups and downs of her life in story and song.

 

●Carole Kleinberg, “Last Dance”

A widow realizes that it’s time to move on with her life and decides to check something big off her bucket list, but finds that she must face her physical limitations, emotional scars, and deep-seated fears, before she is able to replace her soulful memories with a joyous new adventure.

 

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3 @Crocker

 

11:30 AM – FLYING SOLO JR.

(Autobiographical Monologues and Cabaret)

Teen Performers

(Free Admission)

 

1 PM   Robert S. King – St. Petersburg

SILLY, SASSY AND SO MUCH MORE!

(Storytelling)

Tampa Bay Actor and Master Storyteller Robert

S. King celebrates the fantastic foibles, hilarious

hysterias and the many ways adults and children

find themselves in and out of tricky situations, in

audience participatory folktales and real-life stories.

 

3 PM   Gabrielle Lennon – Sarasota

TOUCH ME REAL

(Semi- Autobiographical Play)

A revelation, someone who seemed in the past to

be funny, loving and gentle, later shows a deeply

disturbing side in this humorous, sexy and

heartbreakingly tragic dramatic play.

 

5 PM   Ashley Strand – New York

GLORIFIED DISASTERS/ 3 SAD STORIES, 1 FUNNY GUY*

(Autobiographical Storytelling)

Consumerist excess at a Christmas toilet paper promotion in New York City. The lengths to which a young actor will go to fit into the cut throat world of Sarasota dinner theatre. A fight between brothers at the after-party for a children’s musical in Belgium. Separately, these stories are at turns hilarious, absurd, touching, sad.

Together, they constitute a profound meditation on the sacrifices and sources of a life in the theatre.

Ashley Strand is the winner of the

2009 Hong Kong International Comedy Competition

*Suggested for Mature Audiences

 

 

7 PM   Lucas DeBard – Indiana

I’ll TAKE ROMANCE

(Cabaret)

Lebanon, Indiana native and Michael Feinstein’s

2015 Songbook Youth Ambassador, vocalist Lucas DeBard

Croons classics that focus on romantic music from the Great

American Songbook, taking the audience on a reflective

journey of romance.

winner of The American Songbook Foundation’s 2015 Songbook Academy Competition

­­­­

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4 @Crocker

 

1 PM   Karle Murdock – Sarasota

WITHIN THE LIGHT OF CONSCIOUSNESS

(Poetry and Visual Art)

Visual Artist Karle Murdock brings a new form and scale to

the work of Artist, Poet and Spiritual Explorer Gretchen Lum. In close collaboration, Murdock channels the dreams, visions and artistic-spiritual quest that Lum navigates in our worldly sphere through her poetry and what she calls ‘Minute’ art.

 

3 PM    Dan Leary – Virginia

THE SLEEPING CHILD

(Original Play)

The Sleeping Child is a sideshow attraction that delves

into the dreams of our inner child. Poetry, song,

storytelling, and philosophy meld in a dream sequence

hosted by a nightmare.

 

5 PM   Diana Vytell – Sarasota

IT’S ABOUT TIME

(Cabaret)

Diana muses on her own experiences and the role time plays in all our lives. Songs from Broadway, Jazz, Pop, and Classical.

“Vytell is elegant.” Cabaret Hotline NYC

“Her performance is compelling.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune

 

7 PM   Hedda Matza-Haughton – Sarasota

INNER VOICES: SEX, INTIMACY AND AGING

(Original Play)

In this poignant performance, Hedda now steps out from her usual director’s role in this new and exciting venture as an actor on stage. Through the eyes and hearts of five

different characters, experience their truths about sex, intimacy, aging. Hedda’s ability to dig deeply into each character’s emotions, brings laughter and job and touches hearts deeply.

 

# # #

 

SARASOLO FESTIVAL 2018 BETWIXT WEEK

 

 

Tuesday-Thursday, JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 2 BETWIXT and BETWEEN WEEK 

(Between the Performance Weekends, classes, workshops, open to the public ($10 at door), RSVP in subject line to [email protected] to assure space available.

 

–Tuesday, 1/30,  @ The Reserve

6-9 pm Ann Morrison “Master Class in Cabaret Vocal Performance “

 

–Wednesday, 1/31, @The Reserve

6-9 pm SaraSolo Artist, Master Storyteller Robert S. King presents his Art of Kinetic and Theatrical Storytelling workshop titled “Looking Inward, Speaking Out, Transformational Stories from the Inner Self to the Outside World”

 

 

–Thursday, February 1, @CAH (Center for Arts and Humanities, 1st Floor Conference Room, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236)

6-9 pm Blake Walton Playwriting Workshop, “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It”

 

–Friday, February 2 @The Starlite Room 7-9pm.

Flying Solo Performances, excerpts from works in progress from 3 artists, 7-9pm. $15, Public ticketed event through SaraSolo.org website.

 

  • Kathryn Chesley, “Doris Dinkle Dishes the Dirt” (comedic fictional biographical play)

Doris has been the personal assistant to Sarasota legendary socialite Bertha Palmer, from her years in Chicago at the turn of the century, to her arrival in Florida in 1910. With a comedian’s eye, Doris lets us in on the story, behind the scenes, and in the house of Bertha Palmer one afternoon when the “boss lady” is out.

 

  • Peg Harvey, “Seven Blessings” (autobiographical play)

Binge-watcher and performer, Peg Harvey, gets off the couch!  After watching Game of Thrones, again, she reminisces with the help of The Seven-Faced God, the Deity of Westeros. The Maiden, The Mother, and the Crone inspire her to share some ups and downs of her life in story and song.

 

  • Carole Kleinberg, “Last Dance” (autobiographical play)

A widow realizes that it’s time to move on with her life and decides to check something big off her bucket list, but finds that she must face her physical limitations, emotional scars, and deep-seated fears, before she is able to replace her soulful memories with a joyous new adventure.

 

 

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