First, the bad news: Playhouse on the Square is ditching its P.O.T.S. at the Works project, which allowed Memphis' professional company to use the versatile TheatreWorks space to produce newer and edgier work that didn't fit with the regular offerings at Playhouse on the Square and Circuit Playhouse. P.O.T.S. at the Works brought to Memphis cult shows like Hedwig and the Angry Inch and award-generating productions of Quills and The Pillowman.
Of course, the news isn't all bad. Jackie Nichols, Playhouse on the Square's executive producer, saw the success of The Magnificence of the Disaster, Rebecca Fisher's autobiographical one-person show about the high-profile murder of her mother, and thought there might be an audience in Memphis for highly imaginative solo storytelling. He's testing the waters with eight one-person shows: four in January, four in July.
The Bravo Solo Artist Series kicks off Thursday, January 8th, with Driving the Saudis, Jayne Amelia Larson's autobiographical monologue about the time she spent working as a chauffeur for members of Saudi Arabia's royal family.
Actors interested in developing their own one-person shows might want to look into Voices of the South's month-long series of workshops covering all aspects of solo performance. The workshop series begins Saturday, January 10th, with a class called "Exploring Solo Performance" taught by University of Memphis theater professor Sarah Brown.
"Driving the Saudis," Thursday-Sunday, January 8th-11th, at TheatreWorks. Tickets to the Bravo Solo Artist Series are $20 per show or $100 for all eight and can be reserved by calling 726-4656.
"Exploring Solo Performance," Saturday, January 10th, 2-4:30 p.m. at the Hutchison School. $25. For additional information about Voices of the South's workshops, call 726-0800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.