In the Moment: Logan Festival of Solo Performance at 1st Stage

Under the leadership of Alex Levy, 1st Stage aims to be a cultural hub for the Northern Virginia community and beyond. Over the past year, 1st Stage has reached outside of theatrical productions to host professional musicians, orchestras, and visual artists.

Juan Francisco Villa in “Empanada for a Dream” at NOVA Arts Festival, New York, NY. Photo courtesy of 1st Stage.

Soon, 1st Stage will be producing a unique performing arts festival. Featuring some of the nation’s most celebrated solo performing artists, The Logan Festival of Solo Performance at 1st Stage is the first of its kind in the region. The Festival will run for nearly two weeks of performances, workshops, discussions, and events from July 6 to July 16, 2017.

Curated by 1st Stage Artistic Director Alex Levy, The Logan Festival has the generous support from the Riva & David Logan Foundation. “Although solo shows pop up from time to time in theater seasons in the DC area, there is no festival that is bringing the country’s great solo performers to the area,” said Levy. “I really wanted to share with our audience how beautiful the work being done around the country is.”

“I wanted to be able to share the great work happening around the country with our region,“ added Levy. “I hope our audiences come and see all of the different ways the solo performer art form can be used. It is powerful and intimate theater.”

The Festival will include three multi-performance solo shows. They are Hick: A Love Story, Empanada for a Dream and The Gun Show. Each of the three productions will run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Vin Shambry in E.M. Lewis’ “The Gun Show,” CoHo Productions, Portland. Photo courtesy of 1st Stage.

Hick: A Love Story is a play written by Terry Baum and Pat Bond and directed by Carolyn Myers. A one-woman show, featuring Terry Baum, the show is based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s letters to pioneer journalist Lorena Hickok. It explores the romantic relationship between the two women. Hick: A Love Story has performances on July 6 at 8 p.m., July 8 at 8 p.m., July 9 at 2 p.m., July 12 at 8 p.m., July 15 and 16 at 5 p.m.

Empanada for a Dream is written by and features Juan Francisco Villa. It is a portrait of a family and neighborhood set against a dark secret that destroys it all. It’s about growing up by getting out, then returning to home. Empanada for a Dream will be performed July 7 at 8 p.m., July 8 at 2 p.m, July 9 at 8 p.m., July 11 at 8 p.m, July 15 at 8 p.m., and July 16 at 2 p.m.

The Gun Show by E.M. Lewis and directed by Shawn Lee features Vin Shambry. The performance draws on the playwright’s personal history with firearms. It examines the gun control debate including how a diverse nation searches for mutual understanding. The Gun Show will be performed July 13 at 8 p.m., July 14 at 8 p.m., July 15 at 2 p.m., and July 16 at 8 p.m.

Terry Baum in “Hick: A Love Story” by Terry Baum with Pat Bond, Lilith Theatre San Francisco. Photo courtesy of 1st Stage.

For the Logan Festival, design support for Hick: A Love Story is provided by Vola Ruben (set), Pablo Santiago (lights), and Audrey Howard (sound). Voiceover by Paula Barish. Design support for Empanada for a Dream is provided by Pablo Santiago (lights) and Christopher Kriz (sound). Design support for The Gun Show is provided by CoHo Productions and Pablo Santiago (lights).

“Each of the shows in The Logan Festival of Solo Performance is compelling and theatrical and powerful. All approach the art form in completely different ways.” said Levy. The Festival is expected to return to 1st Stage for the summers of 2018 and 2019.

The Logan Festival of Solo Performance runs July 6-16, 2017, at 1st Stage – 524 Spring Hill Road, in Tysons, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 854-1856, or purchase them online.

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David Siegel
David Siegel is a freelance theater reviewer and features writer whose work appears on DC Theater Arts, ShowBiz Radio, in the Connection Newspapers and the Fairfax Times. He is a judge in the Helen Hayes Awards program. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and volunteers with the Arts Council of Fairfax County. David has been associated with theater in the Washington, DC area for nearly 30 years. He served as Board President, American Showcase Theater Company (now Metro Stage) and later with the American Century Theater as both a member of the Executive Board and as Marketing Director. You can follow David's musings on Twitter @pettynibbler.


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