06 Sep THEATRE ASPEN GRANT PROGRAM ESTABLISHED TO SUPPORT SOLO FLIGHTS FESTIVAL PARTICIPANTS
Aspen, CO (September 6, 2022) – Theatre Aspen (Jed Bernstein, Producing Director) announced that, beginning this season, $10,000 grants will be awarded to two of the Solo Flights selections, to support their further development, underwritten by Rachel and Rick Klausner.
The selection panel for this year’s grants is composed of distinguished members from various corners of the entertainment industry, featuring The Washington Post’s chief theater critic Peter Marks, Golden Globe® & two-time NAACP Image Award® winning actress and playwright Regina Taylor, and film producer Isaac Klausner, whose new film On the Come Up is making its debut at the year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“I am thrilled that Theatre Aspen can increase its industry commitment to developing new work through our Solo Flights Festival, now newly reinforced by the generous grants from Rachel and Rick Klausner. This will provide two projects with critical funding towards the next stage of their development: a fully staged production. We are thrilled to be able to play a role in the development of these pieces and can’t wait to see where they fly next as a result,” said Jed Bernstein, Producing Director of Theatre Aspen.
The chosen pieces will be identified based on delineated criteria including the piece’s ability to engage the audience, the timeliness of the topics discussed, and its effective use of the one-person form.
Solo Flights is an annual week-long developmental festival of one-person shows presented in the beginning stages of their making. Launched in 2019, the festival has brought a variety of diverse works and celebrated actors and directors to Theatre Aspen. Artists have included Beau Bridges, Kaye Winks, Sarah Stiles, Christine Quintana, Emma Ramos, Richard Greenberg, Lameece Issaq, Kate Baldwin, Taylor Trensch, and more, with directors including Tyne Rafaeli, Tony Taccone, Lisa Peterson, and Hunter Foster.
This year’s Solo Flights will feature new works, all receiving early developmental support from Theatre Aspen, including:
Sparrows at the Bar, starring two-time Tony Award® winner James Naughton (Broadway’s Chicago), written by Mike DiSalvo (Broadway’s Twelve Angry Men), and directed by Lucille Lortel Award winner Joe Calarco (Shakespeare’s R&J).
Sidekicked, starring two-time Tony Award® nominee Johanna Day (Proof), written by Kim Powers, and directed by Obie Award® winner Melia Bensussen (The Turn of the Screw Off-Broadway).
Sally: A Solo Play, starring Sabrina Sloan (Hamilton National Tours), written by Sandra Seaton (From The Diary of Sally Hemings), and directed by Hannah Ryan (Theatre Aspen’s Gypsy).
Low Expectations, written by and starring Gotham Award nominee Michael Gaston (“Power”), and directed by Callaway Award winner Giovanna Sardelli (Animals Out of Paper), plus guitarist Daniel Pearce.
Avaaz, written by and starring Michael Shayan (Discovery+’s “The Book of Queer”), and directed by Tony Award® nominee Moritz Von Stuelpnagel (Broadway’s Hand to God).
Also added is Malone Alone! A Special Solo Flights Concert with Tony and Grammy Award® nominee Beth Malone (Broadway’s Fun Home) and David Dyer (“Aspen’s Piano Man” – The Aspen Times) on Sunday, September 11th at 7:00pm.
In addition to the performances, Solo Flights features signature events including talkbacks, creative discussions & panels, and special receptions.
Theatre Aspen’s Solo Flights Festival is presented in part by Rachel and Rick Klausner, Nancy Wall and Chuck Wall, Karen Brooks, The Susan and Jon Diamond Philanthropic Fund, and Maja and Nicholas DuBrul.
As Theatre Aspen approaches its 40th season in 2023, it continues to rekindle a sense of discovery in audiences who live in and visit the Roaring Fork Valley by producing big theatre in a small space with intimate storytelling. Each season, Theatre Aspen promises to bring world-class theatre dramatically closer with innovative and imaginative productions of both plays and musicals. These productions are complemented by an assortment of community events, including late-night cabarets, educational programs and performances, collaborations with other Aspen arts organizations, and new works presentations. Theatre Aspen also boasts an impressive Apprentice Program, one of the largest in the country, devoted to training the next generation of theatrical artists and administrators.
To learn more about Theatre Aspen or to purchase tickets, visit TheatreAspen.org or call (970) 300-4474.
SOLO FLIGHTS JUDGES BIOS
PETER MARKS joined The Washington Post as chief drama critic in 2002. Prior to that, he worked for nine years at The New York Times as a drama critic, theater reporter and national correspondent during the 2000 presidential campaign. He was also a feature writer and reporter at Newsday, where he was a member of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for spot news reporting. He has chaired the Pulitzer Prize drama jury four times and is co-author of the book Good for the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America, published by St. Martin’s Press. He taught theater criticism at George Washington University and co-hosts the theater podcast “Marks & Vincentelli”. He is currently at work on a biography of playwright Neil Simon.
ISAAC KLAUSNER is President of Production at Temple Hill Entertainment, a film and television production company based in Los Angeles & London. He has spent over thirteen years at the company, where he’s worked on a number of films, including The Twilight Saga, Dear John, The Fault In Our Stars, and Paper Towns. Isaac’s more recent projects include Emergency for Amazon; Happiest Season for Hulu; All Together Now for Netflix; Fatherhood for Netflix; First Man for Universal; Looking For Alaska for Hulu; Love Simon for Fox2000; The Kill Team for A24; Life Itself for Amazon; and The Hate U Give for Fox. Upcoming releases include Smile, Somebody I Used To Know, On The Come Up, And Turtles All The Way Down.
REGINA TAYLOR is an actress, director, playwright, educator, and activist. She is currently working on commissions for the Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC and The Old Vic in London. Taylor is the curator/director of the black album mixtape created in collaboration with SMU. The Black Album is an initiative to invite creatives from all fields to think about how we got to this tumultuous present and what ways we can create a better future. Students, professionals, and all communities are welcome to create in your given fields- technology, science, art, activism. Taylor’s playwright credits include Bread (Edgerton Award, Water Tower Theater), Crowns (four Helen Hayes awards, including Best Director), Oo-Bla- Dee (Steinberg-ATCA award) and Drowning Crow (Broadway, MTC), The Trinity River Plays (Edgerton Foundation Award) and stop.reset (Signature Theater Residency Five). Taylor was the first Black woman to play Juliet in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway (Belasco Theatre). Ms. Taylor received the Denzel Washington Endowed Chair Fordham University at Lincoln Center. As an Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre, Taylor is its most produced Associate. Her TV role as Lily Harper in “I’ll Fly Away” received a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress, 3 NAACP Image Awards and two Emmy Award nominations. She is featured in “First Lady” (starring Viola Davis), “Love Craft Country” (Jordan Peele, JJ Abrams, Mischa Green), Netflix’s “All Day and a Night” starring Jeffrey Wright, Ashton Saunders and directed/written by Joe Robert Cole, “Red Line” (Ava Duvernay), and “The Wonder Years” (Lee Daniels), among many others. Taylor’s film credits include Saturday Church, The Negotiator, Courage Under Fire, Clockers, and Lean on Me.