Hartwick Students Present Original Performances in “The Solo Show”

February 15, 2011

Hartwick College Theatre Arts will present The Solo Show--an 80-minute collection of original solo pieces written and performed by Hartwick students--at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 17 and Saturday, February 19 in the Lab Theatre in Bresee Hall on the Hartwick campus. General admission is free, and tickets can be reserved by calling 607-431-4CAP.

 "Solo performance is as old as storytelling itself. We are all solo performers; sometimes we just don't realize it," said director Marc E. Shaw, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts. "Our students are learning how to tell stories on their own, create characters, economize narrative details of plot and space, and--most importantly--give voice to their individual memories and worldview."   

At times touching and at times hilarious, The Solo Showcontains 18 original works, each performed by its student writer. As Director Shaw puts it: "We've got a little bit of everything. For example, our students enact stories about what might happen if: your shirt starts talking to you; someone from the 1950s walks into 2011; there were no more Apple products; or, an over-eager angel is confronted by God." Other works explore dating, lost love, airports, life as a snowflake, over-zealous fandom, and mental illness.

Cast members of The Solo Show include Lita Benson '12, Steven Diehl '14, Kyle Finch '14, Cassie Howe '14, Alan Moss '13, Salina Polanco '13, Corbett Storyk '13, Steve Svanda '13, and Stephen Walling '12.

This night of performance stems from a January Term theatre course that explores contemporary U.S. solo performance. Under the direction of Shaw, the students read the work of about 20 solo performers such as John Leguizamo, Laurie Anderson, Spalding Gray, Lenny Bruce, and Anna Deavere Smith. The class also watches clips of solo performers in action, and gleans ideas for their own solo works. After workshopping and rehearsing ideas, the nine students are prepared to present their own short solo works. 

Shaw, a solo performer and director of many solo performances in the past, was surrounded by solo performance while in graduate school at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

"It's a great tradition where anyone who wants to can stand up and say, 'Listen to this!' We presented a successful solo show at Hartwick in 2008 called O Solo Mio. This second production allows our Hartwick students to continue that fine tradition of making their voices heard."

For more information, contact or call 607-431-4923.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030