This week, Theatre Aspen hosts the one-person-show festival “Solo Flights,” which includes four productions, talkbacks and panel discussions.
Theatre Aspen’s executive director Jed Bernstein has some advice for attendees.
“You undoubtedly are going to hate at least one, you’ll feel okay about one or two and you’ll love one. That’s the point of a festival, to explore and be surprised,” he said.
The event is a deviation from the organization’s usual fare of classic musicals and plays. Bernstein says that one-person shows are becoming more mainstream, and that the format is more and more ubiquitous in entertainment.
"Do you listen to podcasts? That's kind of like a one-person play. Do you listen to books on tape? That's storytelling with one person. It's not so unusual as an experience," he said.
Three of the four productions see their world premiere in Aspen this week. Each play runs around 75 minutes.
“Coach: An Evening with John Wooden,” written by John Wilder, stars actor Beau Bridges as legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
“Dr. Glas” is a new one-person play by Jeffrey Hatcher, based a Scandinavian novel. It’s a love-story-slash-mystery about a 19th-century physician who falls in love with an unhappily married patient.
Actor Kate Baldwin stars in “What We Leave Behind.” With music and lyrics by Jenny Giering and Sean Barry, the musical follows a woman after she’s diagnosed with breast cancer.
In Courtney Baron‘s dark comedy “When It’s You,” a woman returns to her hometown after discovering that her high school boyfriend became become a serial killer.
The organization announced the launch of the festival last winter. Bernstein says “Solo Flights” is a part of Theatre Aspen’s goal to expand into year-round programming.
“We just hated the idea that on August 17 or 18, when the summer season ended, no one really thought about Theatre Aspen until the following June,” he said. Theatre Aspen will also host a series of cabaret-style performances in Aspen during the holiday season this year.
“Solo Flights” runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Hurst Theatre Tent in Aspen.