University of Iowa

Solo Performance 101

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019

One voice telling one story. The one-person play harkens back to the storyteller spinning a tale around the campfire. It can be fiction or nonfiction, it can have one character or many (yes, you can have dialogue in a solo performance), it can involve projections and props and pyrotechnics, or it can just be one person standing on a bare stage asking the audience to come with them on a journey. No matter what form it takes, a play for one is a unique piece of theatrical magic for the actor, the audience and the writer. In this workshop, writers will be asked to arrive with a story they want to tell. Facts are optional. Over eight intensive hours together, we will explore different ways to bring this story to life on the page and on our feet. We will play with point of view, with lies and truth and unreliable narrators; we will experiment with body language and props and the use of silence. We will think of character in terms of gestures, impulses and need. Acting skills are definitely not required, though you should be prepared to read your work aloud. This will be a safe space to explore a new way to connect with your reading audience.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts; provide feedback on writing you bring from home or produce in our weekend.