The 2018 SaraSolo Festival, the fourth celebration of theater and solo artists, returns to Sarasota over two weekends, Jan. 27-28 and Feb, 3-4. This annual event showcases an eclectic mix of 45-90 minute solo performances by 19 national and international artists, featuring music, dance, cabaret, comedy, magic, poetry, performance art, stand-up, storytelling and visual art creation as well as biographical, autobiographical and poetic plays.
Festival media coordinator Kathie Moon says that her excitement about the event is the variety of artists who are creating solo works. She says that there is a great diversity in the program, through personal stories, and also emphasizes SaraSolo's commitment to bringing affordable theater to audiences.
The performances will take place at Sarasota's Pioneer Park historic site venue, Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th St., Sarasota, and The Starlite Room, the cabaret and live music restaurant at 1001 Cocoanut Ave.
Jan. 27 at The Crocker
Coming to Myself
Elizabeth Weil Bergmann performs a combination of modern dance and poetry in an exploration of honesty and awakening self in this musical.
Life as a Marvelette
Former 15-year old member of The Marvelettes, Brenda Watty, entertains by singing the top hits and sharing stories about her experiences on tour.
There Ain't No More: Death of a Folksinger
Willi Carlisle, in collaboration with director Joseph Fletcher, mixes elements of storytelling, clowning, folk songs, and puppetry to take the audience on a journey into the dark heart of “the old, weird America.”
From Ship to Shape
Walker Vreeland shares his stor,y from being a cruise ship entertainer to a young man diagnosed with a mental illness.
Jan. 28 at The Crocker
Sarasota's Elders share their stories in monologue.
Will Rogers Revived
One of America's greatest humorists, Will Rogers, entertains with near old-century political satire and down-home humor in this biographical play, where he is portrayed by Steve McAllister.
The Sewing Shop Show
Professional actor Tim Beltley shares stories of his unexpected time doing costume design and set building in this autobiographical comedy.
A Different Way of Thinking
Cody Clark shares his view of the world as an autistic individual through stage magic and story in this autobiographical play.
A humorous and compelling exploration of alienation, mental health, and self-identification, Nisha Coleman, transports the audience from her hippie childhood in Canada to her life as a street performer in Paris.
Feb. 2 at The Starlite Room
Three writers and performers share their works-in-progress:
Kathryn Chesley, "Doris Dinkle Dishes the Dirt"
Doris has been the personal assistant to Sarasota legendary socialite Bertha Palmer, from her years in Chicago at the turn of the century to her arrival in Florida in 1910. With a comedian’s eye, Doris lets us in on the story behind the scenes and in the house of Bertha one afternoon when the “boss lady” is out.
Peg Harvey, "Seven Blessings"
Binge-watcher and performer Peg Harvey gets off the couch. After watching Game of Thrones, again, she reminisces with the help of The Seven-Faced God, the Deity of Westeros. The Maiden, The Mother, and the Crone, who inspire her to share some ups and downs of her life in story and song.
Carole Kleinberg, "Last Dance"
A widow realizes that it’s time to move on with her life and decides to take Latin dance lessons, but finds that she must face her physical limitations, emotional scars, and out-of-control emotions before she is able to replace her soulful memories with joyous music.
Feb. 3 at The Crocker
Flying Solo Jr.
Autobiographical monologues and cabaret by teen performers.
Silly, Sassy, And So Much More!
Master storyteller Robert S. King celebrates the hilarious ways adults and children find themselves in and out of tricky situations, in audience participatory folktales and real-life stories.
Touch Me Real
This humorous, sexy, and tragic dramatic play by Gabrielle Lennon shares a revelation of someone who in the past seemed to be funny, loving and gentle, but now possesses a deeply disturbing side.
Glorified Disasters/ 3 Sad Stories, 1 Funny Guy
Former Sarasota resident Ashley Strand wrings the extraordinary out of the banal in three stories under the scrutiny of Strand’s neurotic over-analysis, life-affirming celebrations.
I'll Take Romance
Vocalist Lucas DeBard croons romantic classics from the Great American Songbook, as he takes the audience on a reflective journey of romance.
Feb. 4 at The Crocker
Within The Light of Consciousness
Visual artist Karle Murdock channels the dreams and visions of spiritual explorer Gretchen Lum, through poetry and what she calls 'Minute' art.
The Sleeping Child
Dan Leary presents a sideshow attraction that delves into the dreams of our inner child.
It's About Time
Diana Vytell muses on her own experiences and the role time plays in all our lives through this cabaret featuring Broadway, jazz, pop and classical songs.
Inner Voices: Sex, Intimacy, and Aging
An original play by Hedda Matza-Houghton takes the audience through the eyes and hearts of five characters who meet at a Healthy Aging Retreat, experience their truths about sex, intimacy, aging, and hear their "inner voices," finally spoken out loud.
The popular "Betwixt Week" events will also be returning Jan. 30-Feb. 2, offering workshops and performances.
- Ann Morrison with special guest Jeremy Ryan Mossman: Vocal Performance for Cabaret
Jan. 30 from 6-9 p.m. at The Reserve, 1322 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
- Robert S. King: Storytelling for Adults
Jan. 31 from 6-9 p.m., also at The Reserve
- Blake Walton: That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It
Feb. 1 from 6-9 p.m. at first floor meeting room, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.