Over the course of two semesters, students wrote and rehearsed twenty minute one-person performances that were meant to be staged for a live audience at the end of the spring semester 2020. Students investigated a wide-range of contemporary solo performances from around the world like works by Anna Deveare Smith, Waawaate Fobister, and Guillermo Gomez Pena, and they mulled over dramatic criticism from artists like Jose Rivera and Jordan Tannahill while writing their performance text. In the Winter term, texts were further refined to be ready for performance with two central guiding questions: 'what do you want to explore with an audience' and 'what is the soloist's relationship to the audience?' What emerged were 15 dynamic and bold creations: solos that explored ideas, concepts, aesthetic propositions and themes that were deeply meaningful to the solo writer/performers like loss and grief, love and self-discovery, and loneliness and desire.
On Friday March 13th, classes were suddenly cancelled the weekend before the soloists were heading into technical rehearsals. In the wake of that deep and sudden loss, and in order to complete the course, some of the performers chose to engage with a live online audience while others elected to record an 'archival' version of their solo with the hope that they can one day perform in front of a live-audience, as originally intended. One of the core-principals of our work was to explore the very real and tangible relationship between a live audience and a single performer. This particular way of taking in the work (you at home in front of your computer watching something that was recorded months ago) is quite contrasting from it's intended artistic exploration. Though we miss being with you, a live audience, we are grateful to be able to share this version of our endeavours with you. We worked tirelessly to bring truthful and meaningful art to fruition and hope that you enjoy the offerings in this current digital incarnation.
Professor Laura Quigley, Director and Dramatuge
Professor, Director, Dramaturg: Laura Quigley
Dramaturg: Taylor Paskar
CLASS WINTER 2020