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Prominent people in the field of solo autobiographical theatre
Listed in alphabetical order by surname.
Image credit: Clare Pearl
Emma Decent is a theatre and spoken word artist known for her provocative poetry, original performance prose and new theatre.
Her current project is Beyond Dreams of Aberystwyth, an autobiographical show and book about her father.
She is based in Todmorden, in the north west of England.
Misri Dey is Senior Lecturer, Music Theatre, at Falmouth University, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Her current research specialism involves investigating solo devised performance, through a variety of modes. She founded and co-ordinated the Solo Performance Forum at Dartington College of Arts from 2004 to 2008, in which she organised a series of intensive making laboratories and a première of three new solo works in 2006.
Spalding Gray was born in Rhode Island on June 5, 1941. He was a major influence in NYC ‘avant-garde’ theatre particularly during his period with the Wooster Group.
It was here that he began to perform and write monologues. These hilarious, yet often sad, stories of his personal life made him famous. The most famous is Swimming to Cambodia, an absolute must see film.
Spalding also appeared in about 50 movies, and occasional TV appearances.
In 2001, he suffered brain damage in a car accident in Ireland. Previously, Spalding had struggled and spoke openly about depression and suicidal thoughts.
On January 10, 2004, it is presumed that Spalding jumped from the Staten Island ferry. His body was found two months later.
Spalding Gray: Terrors of Pleasure
Jerzy Grotowski was a Polish theatre director, an innovator of experimental theatre, and the originator of such concepts as ‘theatre laboratory’ and ‘poor theatre’.
Matt Hoverman is a comedic playwright, TV and screenwriter, actor and distinguished teacher whose work in each discipline is striking for its imagination, humanity and wicked wit.
He is the originator of the Matt Hoverman Solo Show Method, and has midwifed the creation of over 100 solo shows in his popular “Create Your Own Solo Show” workshops, including winners of the 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 FringeNYC Best Solo Show Awards. His teaching is the subject of a NY Times feature article and the documentary SOLO by Shannon Romines.
Matt is the author of three e-books:
- Why Do a Solo Show?
- Tell Your Story: The Art of the Autobiographical Solo Show
- Self-Produce Your Solo Show: NYC Festivals
Go to Publications section and read more about these e-books
He lives in New York City with his actress and playwright wife Katie Atcheson and their rescue dog Thisbe.
Josh Kornbluth is an American comedic autobiographical monologuist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. He has toured internationally, written and starred in several feature films, and appeared in a television interview show.
Image source: Wikipedia
Roberta Mock, Ph.D., is Professor of Performance Studies in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts, Plymouth University, United Kingdom.
Tanya Taylor Rubenstein
Tanya Taylor Rubenstein is an internationally recognised figure in the field of solo performance. She has devoted the past 30 years to developing and exploring the art of the one person show.
She is the founder and artistic director of Project Life Stories, an organisation based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, devoted to Stories of the Soul.
Johnny Saldaña is Evelyn Smith Professor at School of Theatre and Film, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University, USA.
He is the editor of the book Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre.
Tracey Erin Smith
Tracey is the founder and creator of SoulOTheatre®, a programme designed to help actors and non-actors create their own one-person show by transforming raw material from their life journey into creative solo performances.
She is based in Toronto, Canada, where she teaches at Ryerson University’s ACT II Studio, and has taught improvisation at Toronto’s famous Second City.
Actors and writers in Tracey’s classes have gone on to perform their shows professionally across Canada.
In 2013, Tracey co-directed SoulO Theatre Festival Totnes, alongside Mo Cohen.
E-books authored by Matt Hoverman
Why Do a Solo Show? (free download)
Tell Your Story: The Art of the Autobiographical Solo Show (USD 20)
- A fun, doable, step-by-step process to turn your raw life story into a hilarious, dramatic, focused theatrical storytelling-type solo show.
- All the biggest pitfalls that trip up beginner solo show artists and how to avoid them! (Plus: The Top 5 Most Common Solo Show Topics—and what you need to do to make your show unique and fresh.)
- Tips on how to form your own ‘class’ of solo show writer/performers—with tons of improv and writing exercises to generate and hone your own work together.
Self-Produce Your Solo Show: NYC Festivals (USD 15)
Glossary of terms and other resources
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