Standing Alone

Solo performance, which started as clandestine acts of defiance in unlicensed theatres and pubs, has lived in the guise of lecture, and now even pervades mainstream online entertainment, has an undeniable draw. “Solo is a theatre of transformation, where a solitary performer stands on stage and pulls the wool from their eyes so we can see ourselves inside.”It can also be an incredibly powerful place to create space for a voice and a point of view which is not supported by historical systems of society, culture, or theater. For example, female-identifying artists have often turned to this way of making in order to tell stories which can bring about social change.

From the political to the goofy to the personal, here are some places to start with excellent solo performance:

Cher’s West Side Story

Anna Deavere Smith’s Four American Characters

Rowan Atkinson’s The Actor’s Art

Dael Orlandersmith’s Forever

Whoopi Goldberg

Sir Ian McKellan’s Acting Shakespeare

Sarah Jones’ One Woman, Many People

Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag