“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” -Iyanla Vanzant
One of the things that I love most about the theatre festival circuit is the wide array of audience members that such events can reach. This enables you, the solo artist, to share your story on a larger scale which often exceeds your own personal network of contacts.
That said, I am dedicating today’s blog to exploring two upcoming theatre festivals that are open to people all over the world, and why you might consider participating in these and other festivals in your solotheatre career.
Joshua Tree Solo Theatre Festival
To begin with, let’s take a look at the first ever Joshua Tree Solo Theatre Festival (JT Festival) set in the desert at the beautiful Joshua Tree Retreat Center commencing April 29th to May 1st.
Co-produced by Yours Truly and accomplished theatre producer, Kevin Bone, this whirlwind weekend will be jam-packed with solo theatre workshops, solo script readings, mainstage performances of one-person shows, and various other experiences catered to the solo performer.
While the festival will be making day passes available for those who wish to attend all of the events, there are also a handful of VIP passes which include staying on campus at the Retreat Center for total immersion (please note the VIP passes are extremely limited, so if you are interested in participating in this way, please contact the festival ASAP to inquire about availability).
The Solo Theatre Workshops will be led by accomplished solo artists who will be guiding participants through their unique zones of genius.
Some of the enticing educational experiences include Kamakshi Hart exploring how to infuse rites of passage into our writing, Lynne Jassem incorporating the art of Mime (and pantomime) and how it can make or break the believability of a solo artist’s performance, Heather Dowling unpacking the technique of creating and portraying characters in a one-person play, and Kevin Neighbors combining the world of poetry into scripting a solo show. For the complete list of workshops, clickhere.
The JT Festival will also feature open mic opportunities for anyone inspired to share an excerpt of solo theatre, curated “Best Of” and “Sneak Peak” short performances from a slew of talented performers, as well as readings of brand new works in progress such as skilled comedienne Gabriella DeMarco with her second one-woman show, “The House Whisperer.”
There will also be Joshua Tree site specific events such as walking the Rose Labyrinth, enjoying exhibits in the Art Garden, or meditating in the Lotus Meditation Space.
All to say, if you are looking to perform, be entertained and be educated in the art of solo theatre, then the Joshua Tree Solo Festival is not to be missed. Be a part of theatre history for the very first year of this incredible festival. For more information, contact JTSoloFestival@gmail.com.
Hollywood Fringe Festival
Next up, we have the notorious Hollywood Fringe Festival (HFF) happening June 9th to 26th which typically hosts hundreds of shows in the span of a month. HFF has been going strong for over a decade and is a Los Angeles staple. Even a pandemic couldn’t take this noteworthy festival down! I have directed dozens and dozens of solo shows in this festival over the years and cannot stop singing its praises!
While the festival officially kicks off in June, there are many informative workshops and panels already taking place in preparation for the 2022 run.
HFF also has social events such as “Office Hours” which create an atmosphere either online or in person where various performers and creative team members can network, promote, and make Fringeships.
Speaking of Fringeships, this is probably the very best aspect about participating in this particular festival…the sense of community.
While Fringe is not solo specific, being that it features ensemble shows as well, it is very nurturing to the solo artist in the sense that you will not be going it alone. If you make an effort to connect to the Fringe community, your efforts will be rewarded and you will likely make lifelong friendships.
In addition to the social perks of the Hollywood Fringe, there is also the ability to receive accolades for your one-person p lay. HFF offers a myriad of awards such as the Encore Producer Awards, the mainstage Freak Awards chosen by the HFF community, and Sponsored Awards which enable outside organizations to celebrate and uplift riveting work each year in the festival.
Not only that, but you can have your solo show reviewed by audiences and professional critics alike which will help you to build a solid press kit for future promotion and performances.
So, if you are looking to participate in a well-established festival with the potential to gain friendships, share your solo art, and obtain career recognition, then HFF2022 might be for you! For more information on the Hollywood Fringe Festival, click here.
Lastly, if these two festivals have your wheels turning about participating in the festival circuit at large, then I would encourage you to strongly consider how performing your solo show in the context of a festival can help provide you with the structure and support that you may need as a lone performer. And of course, you may always reach out to me here to chat about the possibility of bringing your show to a festival.
Well, solo artists, I sincerely hope that today’s blog focusing on these two festivals gave you some insights and inspiration as you continue along on your solo journey. It may not be easy, but it is so worth it!
Enjoy these Solo Theatre Resources to further guide you on your solo journey!
Tune in and Support the Soaring Solo Community as we participate in the REVEALED Virtual Reading Series this Winter!
Award winning director and developer, Jessica Lynn Johnson, hosts a slew of powerful solo show script readings addressing various impactful and inspiring topics.
This enticing lineup can be found by CLICKING HERE FOR MORE INFO.
Start writing your own solo show one Freewrite at a time with “FREEWrite Friday”!
Join BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER Jessica Lynn Johnson for FREEWrite Friday!
Utilizing thought-provoking writing prompts, Jessica will lead you in writing exercises that are sure to assist you in the development of your solo show.
A one-person play is not typically written in one fell swoop. Rather, the Soaring Solo Methodology teaches that the creation of solo amrt is much like that of creating a mosaic…one beautiful piece at a time.
All that is required to attend this inspiring event is a willingness to explore, having a pen, paper, or some other means of capturing your thoughts, the ability to access Zoom, and signing up on this page as your official RSVP.
We look forward to having you join the Soaring Solo Community in this event because your story matters!
CLICK HERE TO RSVP and obtain the Zoom link and password.
Attend the Soaring Solo FREE One-Person Play Development class ONLINE!
No matter where you are in the creation of your solo show, idea phase, curiosity phase, full draft written, touring the festival and college market, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST and founder of Soaring Solo, Jessica Lynn Johnson, will meet you where you are at and take you to the next level! All that is required to attend is a willingness to explore, a pen, and some paper. No previous writing or performance experience necessary, and no need to have written anything to bring to class. Each week Jessica will guide you in exercises to help generate and stage NEW material! So come and meet other creatives in a supportive space for expression and exploration! The class is ongoing and so you may pop in and out as you please as long as you RSVP by clicking here for this FREE ONE-PERSON PLAY CLASS.
Schedule an Online Coaching Consultation with Jessica Lynn Johnson to discuss the possibilities for your solo show!
Jessica brings her 15+ years of solo theatre expertise to work privately with solo artists from all over the world on an as needed basis.
A 1 on 1 Consultation is for you if…
-You are curious about creating a solo show, but you need writing prompts to help you generate material.
– You are tossing around ideas for your solo show, but you need some accountability and encouragement to commit those ideas to the page.
-You have already written some material, but you need expert feedback on editing, story structure and play formatting.
-You have a great first draft, but need guidance on how to utilize multimedia and solo theatre technique in order to make your show a dynamic piece of solo theatre.
-You already premiered your solo show and now you want some tips on how to tour colleges and festivals, and garner accolades and great reviews!
-You have heard great things about Jessica’s work and you’re curious about hiring her as a director and developer for your solo show, but first you want to feel her out and see if she is the right fit for you and your project.
Wherever you may find yourself on your solo journey, Jessica will help you overcome whatever immediate obstacle stands between you and your solo success.
If you resonate with many of the things on this list, then take the next step by emailing SoaringSoloArtist@gmail.com for more information.