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World map of solo autobiographical theatre

Prominent people in the field of solo autobiographical theatre


Glossary of terms and other resources

World map

The world of solo autobiographical theatre

If you are aware of any other organisations or prominent people involved in solo autobiographical theatre, please let us know. Go to the contact form

Prominent people in the field of solo autobiographical theatre

Listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Emma Decent

Emma Decent | Image credit: Clare Pearl

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.

Twitter: @EmmaDecent

Website: http://emmadecent.co.uk

Misri Dey

Misri Dey

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.

Read more about Misri Dey on the website of Falmouth University

Spalding Gray

Spalding  Gray

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

Read more about Spalding Gray and Swimming to Cambodia

Spalding Gray—Wikipedia

Jerzy Grotowski

Jerzy Grotowski

Jerzy Grotowski was a Polish theatre director, an innovator of experimental theatre, and the originator of such concepts as ‘theatre laboratory’ and ‘poor theatre’.

Jerzy Grotowski—Wikipedia

Matt Hoverman

Matt Hoverman

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.


Matt Hoverman—Wikipedia

Josh Kornbluth

Josh Kornbluth. Source: Wikipedia

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

Twitter: @joshkornbluth

Website: www.joshkornbluth.com

Roberta Mock

Professor Roberta Mock

Roberta Mock, Ph.D., is Professor of Performance Studies in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts, Plymouth University, United Kingdom.

View her Plymouth University profile

Tanya Taylor Rubenstein

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.

Read more about Tanya on the website of Project Life Stories

Go to the website of Tanya Taylor Rubenstein, Solo Performance Coach

Go to Tanya’s Facebook page

Johnny Saldaña

Johnny Saldaña

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.

Read more about Johnny Saldaña on the website of Herberger Institute

Tracey Erin Smith

Tracey Erin Smith, SoulOTheatre®

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.

Read more about Tracey Erin Smith

Twitter: @TraceyErinSmith


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)

Go to the book purchase page of Matt Hoverman’s website

Glossary of terms and other resources

Glossary of terms

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