Solo performance is a genre that encompasses a wide array of performances -- from stand-up comedy to campy magic shows, the only guideline is one performer. But here at HuffPost Culture we want to turn our attention to solo performers that attempt to craft a plot with a full arc of a story. These performances are theatrical by nature and expand just what exactly one person is capable of.
Solo shows may be illuminating or they may cover a lot of sins -- for instance, the idea that any life experience (especially yours) is worth telling on a stage. However, if the production reaches beyond navel gazing and links the story or personal tale to a wider theme, then the resonances of a singular performance may be particularly powerful and transformative.
In anticipation of the recently announced, 2012 “All For One Theater Festival” in New York City September 14-30, we bring you a few of our favorite solo performers around. There’s Anna Deavere Smith, a sort of pioneer in the genre with her interview approach --conducting interviews around a specific topic or theme, then transcribing and performing the interviews verbatim. And then there’s performer, writer, and poet Sarah Jones, who creates fictionalized characters and performs them brilliantly; seamlessly switching back and forth between her different roles.
Browse the slideshow below for video clips of some of the most talented solo-performers and be sure to let us know who we may have missed in the comments!