HOW TO MAKE A SOLO SHOW #1: goals and questions


Annie Rachele Lanzillotto                    

Workshop Goals:

  • to find the core image/action of your solo show
  • to generate performance material
  • to construct the script / score
  • to learn Lanzillotto “Action Writing” technique to mine the center of your narrative for imagery and action


  • Why do solo-performance?  Who has done it in history?
  • How can you self-transform through performing a solo?
  • What attributes does solo-performance have in common with: preaching, working out, burlesque, running for office, teaching, narrative plays, puppetry, street-corner buskering,, Hosting, Giving Toasts and Blessings, Performing Rituals…
  • What is the core image/action of your solo show?  If you had to do the whole show in thirty seconds, what image are you making, and what is the action of the image?   Find the core image/action. Figure out how to create it.  Keep it. Don’t lose it in the process.
  • If you were to write your character’s need and station in this moment of life in a “personal ad” format, what would it be?
  • Is there a core vocal phrase or recitation you are working with?
  • What’s your connection to ancestral history, oral history…
  • How does a story in your life play out against the political times in which you live?
  • Describe the critical themes of history you have been alive in, this lifetime…
  • What’s the one thing you really want to say?  To who?
  • Why should anyone care?  What’s the role of listener / congregation / audience
  • If you were a superhero, what would your superhero name be?  What do you wear?  What powers do you have?  What vulnerabilities?  What’s the moment of transformation from “nerd to superman”  “librarian to catwoman”  What’s your moment of transformation? When do you show super power in life?
  • How to construct a solo-show?  What anatomy is at work in the script / score?
  • What’s a script and what’s a score?
  • What can’t you do?  If we love to see struggle, to see someone trying to achieve the difficult, in life, on stage, then list things that you can’t do, that are a struggle for you personally.

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