The Solo is an ongoing series of adult education workshops, coaching, consultation, and master classes, lead by Ann Morrison and Blake Walton. The Solo springs from a desire by individual artists to grow a solo theatre project from early stages to performance. Each of these initial 8 artists approached Ann and Blake with an idea, a revision, or a nearly complete piece in need of a professional eye and an audience.
Clara Francesca, New York
Partying With Mrs. Marx
Clara brought "Manifesting Mrs. Marx" a visually startling, angry, and often funny response to the historical depiction of Karl Marx's wife Jenny Marx to the 2016 SaraSolo Festival garnering a "Best Performance Art" Award. Since then it has been lauded at festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe and venues in Europe and the U.S. The art piece has continued to evolve and grow as has the artist, and this exploration with The Solo is another step.
Paula Broadwater, St. Pete
working title: 'Til Somebody Cares
Paula performed her cabaret act (mentored by Ann Morrison) to the 2017 SaraSolo Festival winning the "Julie Wilson Award" and then encored her performance in 2018. Paula is booked in a theatre in St. Pete in October for a run of her newest act based on "relationships" and is brave enough to show audiences the skin and bones of preparing a new show calling on her mentor and now close friend Ann Morrison.
Dennis McSorley, Burlington VT
working title: The Kid From Queens
Dennis has not only appeared twice at the SaraSolo Festival in Typhoon of Tenderness (2019 Outstanding Drama Award) and in Box of Squirrels in 2021, but was a participant in "The Bridge" as an elder in SaraSolo's virtual intergenerational education program. A master storyteller and monologist, Dennis has performed his original works at the United Solo Festival, the Prague Fringe Festival, the Burlington Fringe Festival, and the Grange Hall Cultural Center. Evolving from traditional storytelling to monologist through The Solo, he is gathering his own tales growing up in Queens as a full solo play.
Valerie David, New York
The Pink Hulk (revised ending)
Valerie performed her "The Pink Hulk" in the 2017 SaraSolo Festival and won the "Queen’s Medal for Valour Performance Award." The Pink Hulk has been accepted into 38 different play festivals worldwide, performed in over 23 different cities, and has won several nominations and awards including the Audience Choice Award in the Shenandoah Fringe and WOW Award in Sweden’s Gothenburg Fringe. Originally this was a remarkable play about surviving two types of cancer, but when Valerie was diagnosed (while performing) as acquiring a third type, this brought a new chapter to her story with new insights and a new ending to The Pink Hulk, which she explores through The Solo.
Sylvia Day, Sarasota
working title: Send In The Clone
An accomplished actress, comedienne, singer and writer, in 2015 Sylvia took her solo show “50 Shades of DAY!” Off-Broadway in the United Solo Festival at Theatre Row, and in 2016 her political comedy "50 Shades of (Election) DAY!" premiered in Zurich. Her political song parody "Vote" (after Madonna's "Vogue") was shared and retweeted by thousands, including Debra Messing who called it "Brilliant!" Sylvia's present exploration delves into the mind of "Siri" or her creation "Tiri", who just might be more human than we think she is.
Annabelle Weber, Sarasota
working title: "Fit" Girl
A student in the Visual and Performing Arts program at Booker High, Annabelle worked with Ann and Blake through SaraSolo's int-school solo play development workshop "O Solo Me O." The beginnings of this piece came later as she was considering a larger statement about "Body Shame" and "Toxic Masculinity" and the destructive influence social media has on teens like her.
Ricky Bizzaro, Sarasota
working title: Stuck Inside
A student in the Visual and Performing Arts program at Booker High, Ricky worked with Ann and Blake through SaraSolo's in-school solo play development workshop "O Solo Me O." This monologue is an outgrowth of his exploration during Covid, of self, obsessive behavior, body shame, insecurities, and learning to love.
Steve McAllister, Sarasota
working title: ABC Squared Economics
Steve is a recipient of both the 2018 SaraSolo Festival "Humorist Award" (for Will Rogers Revived) and the 2017 SaraSolo Festival "Flying Solo Award" (for Cabaret Cowboy). Steve has written several books, the latest of which is the basis for this expression of his sharp vision of the world through poetry and music.