Gun Violence Play comes to Tucson, part of first Tucson Solo Theater Festival
“GO! The drama’s life-changing moments evoke a here-and-now immediacy, not easily forgotten.”
-LA Weekly, in their 2014 review of The Gun Show in Los Angeles
There are six shows featuring a single actor in the first Tucson Solo Theater Festival, but one stands out as especially timely: The Gun Show by Oregon playwright EM Lewis. This play will have it’s Southwest Premiere running from December 29th through January 3rd at the Cabaret Theater, Temple of Muisc and Art, directed by Maria Caprile and starring popular Tucson actor Clark Andreas Ray. It will be performed in rotating repertory with five other show in the Festival.
The play is built around true stories of gun violence experienced by playwright Ellen Lewis. A startling device is the use of a male actor to tell these first-person stories.The stories range from her youth as a farm girl in a rural area where guns are common, to more harrowing stories, until the final twist leaves the audience breathless. The show, like all the other plays part of the Tucson Solo Theater festival, comes to town trailing rave reviews from previous productions.Audiences will be invited to stay after each show for a discussion about gun violence in America.
The play comes to Tucson through playwright EM Lewis’s personal friendship with Tucson playwright/performer Monica Bauer, a new resident of the old Pueblo who’s hit the ground running by co-producing this festival with New York producer Cheryl King.
The Gun Show, by EM Lewis
Directed by Maria Caprile, starring Clark Andrea Ray
Tucson Solo Theater Festival, December 29, 30, January 2, 3 at 8:30; Matineee January 1st at 5pm.
Cabaret Theater, Temple of Music and Art; tickets $25, $15 for students/low income. Adult language and situations. Tickets through the Festival website at tucsonsolotheaterfestival.com, at Brown Paper Tickets 1-800-838-3006, or at the door.
ONE ISN’T THE LONELIEST NUMBER AT FIRST-EVER TUCSON SOLO THEATER FESTIVAL, DEC. 29-JAN 3
TUCSON – Six performers, six shows, six days. The first-ever Tucson Solo Festival lights up a traditionally “dark” theater week between Christmas and New Year’s with a diverse collection of award-winning short plays, each featuring only one performer. Scheduled in rotating repertory, the plays, most lasting one hour, will alternate in timeslots daily, beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing through the evening, with audiences invited to come for one or stay for several.
Running December 29-January 3 in the intimate Cabaret Theater in the Temple of Music and Art (3300 South Scott Ave., Tucson AZ 85701), the festival will feature the work of a select group of professional writer-performers from Tucson, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and London. Several of the shows were critically lauded hits at the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and have toured regionally in the UK and the US.
The Tucson Solo Festival is the idea of a recent Tucson transplant, veteran Off-Broadway playwright-actor Monica Bauer, who produced her own solo shows at the 2012 and 2013 Edinburgh Fringe. Bauer’s co-producer for this new festival is Cheryl King, formerly the artistic director of New York’s Stage Left Studio, and a longtime writer, director and performer of solo shows.
“We are eager to share our love for solo theater with theatergoers in Tucson who are looking for something new and fresh,” says Bauer. “We’ve chosen a fascinating variety of plays for our inaugural festival – comedies, dramas, contemporary issues, a literary rom-com. There’ll be something for everyone.”
Timing the festival for the between-holiday week could be tricky, Bauer admits, but “it’s a fun entertainment alternative to shopping the sales and watching football.”
The shows of the Tucson Solo Festival are (in alphabetical order):
· A British Christmas – International actor Dikran Tulaine (seen in the NBC series The Blacklist) puts his own spin, in modern dress, on Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.
· Grapefruit – Cheryl King, co-producer of the Tucson Solo Fest, tells her all-too-true story of a cancer patient’s tragicomic struggles with an insurance company and Big Pharma.
· The Gun Show – Popular Tucson actor Clark Andreas Ray performs this provocative piece about gun violence, a hit in productions in Chicago, Philadelphia and Berkeley in 2015. (Talkbacks with the audience will take place after this show.)
· Made for Each Other – A five-star critical and audience hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, this is festival co-producer Monica Bauer’s boy-meets-boy love story performed by New York actor John Fico.
· Sweater Curse: A Yarn about Love – Dallas writer-performer Elaine Liner invites audiences to knit and crochet along with her Edinburgh Fringe, Dallas Solo Fest and New Orleans Fringe hit “knitcom” about love, loss, literary knitters and unraveled relationships.
· The Year I Was Gifted – Monica Bauer performs her own coming-of-age play about her year as a scholarship kid trying to survive in a fancy prep school with the help of her first gay friend.
WHAT: Tucson Solo Festival, six short solo plays in rotating rep over six days and nights
WHEN: December 29, 2015 – January 3, 2016
WHERE: Cabaret Theater, Temple of Music and Art, 3300 South Scott Ave., Tucson AZ 85701
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $25 per show, ($15 for students and anyone who self-identifies as low-income), available at the door or in advance from the festival website,http://tucsonsolotheaterfestival.com, and by phone from Brown Paper Tickets, 800-838-3006.