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Theatre Aspen’s Solo Flights festival doubles down on one-person plays

Lineup includes more productions, August run dates

Hurst Theatre, photographed by Mike Lyons.
Theatre Aspen/Courtesy photo

Theatre Aspen’s Solo Flights one-person play festival returns to the Hurst Theatre this summer Aug. 25-31 with double the programming compared to its inaugural four-play festival in 2019.

The company plans to stage two shows each for six original plays and one original musical during the second iteration of the week-long developmental festival this August; Theatre Aspen will also preview the festival with the 1975 one-man show “Give ‘em Hell, Harry!” in July.

Consider the July preview a glimpse at what could be the successful future for any of the seven productions that will be presented during the Solo Flights festival, said Theatre Aspen Producing Director Jed Bernstein. Several of the shows are already slated for future productions after they launch at Solo Flights, Bernstein said.



“They’re all, I think, terrific stories and they’re being presented in their most pristine form because in many cases it’s the first public reading or listening to any of them, and in all cases, none of them have had professional full productions yet,” Bernstein said. “So it’s a real chance for people to get in on the ground floor.”

Between the larger run and earlier show dates (Solo Flights was held in mid-September in 2019), Bernstein hopes to draw a larger audience to the festival for its second round.



Single tickets will be available, but Theatre Aspen is placing an emphasis on the $350 Platinum Pass (which includes two tickets to each production) and the $200 Silver Pass (which includes six single tickets to use for a combination of productions). It’s all about getting more people to more shows — and as many people to as many shows as possible.

“I guarantee folks if they see all seven in August, or six of the seven, they’re going to love a couple of them, they’re going to feel sort of OK about a couple of them and they’ll probably not like a couple of them,” Bernstain said. “But the beauty of this is that (for) each individual, the plays that fall into those three different buckets will be different. That’s the fun of a festival, is that different people spark to different stories.”

Tickets are now on sale online at TheatreAspen.org or by phone at 970-925 9313. The Theatre Aspen box office (470 Rio Grande Place, Aspen) will open June 20.

EIGHT SOLO SHOWS

All productions will be staged at the Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park.

July Preview

“Give ‘em Hell, Harry!” launches a preview of Solo Flights with this one-man show about President Harry Truman, written by Samuel Gallu. Actor Fred Grandy plays the 33rd president of the United States; Hunter Foster directs. (July 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.)

Solo Flights Festival

“Clean”: Playwright Christine Quintana and Director Melissa Crespo explore the past, present and imagined future when a hotel floor manager and a visiting guest connect. (Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 28 at 1 p.m.)

“Esmeranda’s Gift (Or How To Make a Crossword Puzzle and Solve Your Life)”: A puzzlemaker embarks on an agenda to win back her ex-boyfriend in this play written by Donna Hoke and directed by Hunter Foster. Starring Sarah Stiles. (Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 29 at 4 p.m.)

“A Good Day to Me Not to You”: Lameece Issaq writes and stars in this play about a woman who comes to terms with her sister’s death and considers an untaken path to motherhood while living in a boarding house run by nuns. Lee Sunday Evans directs. (Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. and Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m.)

“Making Good”: This dark comedy of stolen identity written by Stuart Slade combines the ethos of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” with a romantic comedy (and a bit of “American Psycho”); Tyne Rafaeli directs. Starring Taylor Trensch. (Aug. 27 at 4 p.m. and Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m.)

“The Noah Racey Project”: Playwright and star Noah Racey sings and tap-dances his way back to his childhood and considers competing needs for freedom and safety. Dick Scanlan directs; a pianist and percussionist will perform an accompanying jazz score. (Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. and Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m.)

“A Shot Rang Out”: An actor (David Ivers) returns to the stage after a period of isolation and explores what led to his seclusion in this play written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Tony Taccone. (Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 30 at 4 p.m.)

“Token”: Kaye Winks details her childhood growing up Black in the nearly all-white suburban midwest as the writer and star of this coming-of-age story; Schoen Smith directs. (Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 31 at 4 p.m.)

kwilliams@aspentimes.com

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect a change in pass names for ticketing.


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