Art House Productions Seeks Submissions for New SO LOW Theater Festival

Have a story to tell? Art House Productions is launching a new program dedicated to solo works this fall and accepting submissions through next Friday, Aug. 17.

The inaugural SO LOW Theater Festival – a solo festival with low ticket prices – runs Sept. 27-30, and individuals and theater companies with solo material are encouraged to apply. Tickets will cost $6 and 50 percent of each one sold will go to the performer.

The festival brings Art House back to its roots – the first play the organization ever produced was founder/director Christine Goodman’s one-person show Sleeping With Management, which Goodman performed in the New York International Fringe Festival in 2003.

“While developing my piece, I gorged on one-person plays and tried to see everything that was out there in theaters,” she says. “There’s when I really fell in love with the format.”

The SO LOW Theater Festival was conceptualized by longtime Art House collaborator reg e gaines, who will open his own solo show, The Last Celebrity, Aug. 31 at the San Diego Museum of Art. The Tony and Grammy Award nominee, who wrote the book and lyrics for “Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk,” describes the new show as a look at his “accidental brush with fame,” his rocket ride from obscure street poet to sought-after writer and performer. He is the artistic director for the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in New York and plans to bring The Last Celebrity to Jersey City in February for Black History Month.

A Jersey City native who now lives in San Diego, gaines says anybody who can tell a story can put on a solo show, but a knowledge of structure and writing techniques like repetition are key to sustaining an audience’s interest.

While performers can add multimedia elements – his own show uses video – he says he appreciates how basic solo theater can be.

“It’s the simplest and most economical way people can experience theater at a very low price… one mic, one light, one person,” he says. “It’s the lowest investment.”

To be eligible for the SO LOW festival, presenters must have produced and/or performed in at least one production in the last 12 months. Shorter pieces are encouraged and the maximum run-time is 60 minutes.

To apply, download the application from arthouseproductions.org (there is a $10 application fee) and submit by email to info[at]arthouseproductions.org or through the mail to:
Art House Productions
1 McWilliams Place, 6th Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07302

a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the The Wall Street Journal, and Agence France-Presse. She is also a former editor for Jersey City Independent.