Great things can happen when given the space and encouragement to create. The Whitefire Theatre has given artists this platform since 2012 with their annual Solofest.
If you have a solo show, you can submit it for consideration for Solofest 2019. Deadline for submissions is December 1, 2018.
Our NoHo motto is unofficially: “NoHo is only as great as its people.” In this case we applaud the many dedicated writers, actors, producers, directors and tech folks who create and produce the annual Solofest at Whitefire Theatre. We chatted with Bryan Rasmussen who began Solofest back in 2012.
What is Solofest?
Solofest is a festival of one person shows, or solo theatre, that is a celebration of the solo journey, not a competition. We do a completely different show every day during January February and the first part of March going on for seven years now.
It’s grown into the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast. This year will be doing 60 shows in 70 days!
When and why did you start Solofest?
I began Solofest in 2012 as a tribute to the solo process. I wanted to have a situation where it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for a performer to mount and produce their own show. We figured out a way so that the cost of the festival comes out of the box office instead of the performers own checkbook. Also each show is custom designed on the day of their performance so they’re not performing on someone else’s set or with someone else’s lighting. So were able to create their entire look and production in one day. We also only do one show a day instead of back to back performances in one day. So everyone has a good chunk of time to tech and prep their show.
We support solo artists like no other.
What type of shows are you looking for?
We are looking for all types of solo theater. But we do need to have it ready and written and approximately 60 to 80 minutes in length.
What suggestions do you have for solo show performers?
My suggestions come through doing the festival and prepping to mount your solo piece. It’s a great way to learn how to promote your own work as we all need to do as actors. It’s the most difficult thing an actor will ever have to do and so once you’re able to achieve this goal you’ll be able to do anything and everything!
Do you have any success stories? Or any interesting stories to share?
We have many success stories from the Solofest. “Billie: backstage with lady day” with Synthia Hardy has run for almost 10 years and closes every Solofest as a tribute to that journey. Another success story is Rudy Ramos in “Geronimo”. After he premiered it here at the Whitefire he went on to tour it through the south west and across the country. He then landed one of the leads in the TV series “Yellowstone” with Kevin Costner. We are so very proud of him and the show. The Solofest has launched over 250 solo shows since its inception!
The Whitefire Theatre is a pioneer in solo production and has produced over 1000 solo shows in the last 14 years.
Is there something you’d like to highlight?
The solo genre I think now is the purest form of storytelling in theater. It used to be considered more of a vanity type of expression. But now it’s become a very respected and honored achievement and theatrical undertaking.
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