Where History Comes Alive SoloTogether


As usual the conversations on the porch were impossible to record.  Everyone was getting back in touch or meeting new solo performers or dining on kielbasa, salad, lo mien or one of the other culinary delights.  We talked so long we even ran out of time for our annual group photo.  Sharon Wood saved the day though with some great photos.

 After everyone was full, we adjourned to the carriage house for the meeting.  This marks our 24th year as a group so Ted started the meeting with some hints of special things happening next year for our 25th anniversary.  We also gave Kate Carney a standing ovation for all of her contributions to solo performance and solo performers.

Since time was short we tried to keep the what are you up to announcements brief.

Phyllis Gordon is getting closer to bringing her solo program about Phyllis Diller to the boards.  She has a director and is fine tuning even as you read.

Libby Franck has finished scripting her Katherine Wright program so be on the lookout.

Jackson Gillman seemed a little down, having lost a long time gig in New Bedford and having Kipling turned down by the Vermont Humanities once again.

Mike Mack’s told us about “Converstaions with My Molester” , why he left the church and then returned.  He also suggested that getting into the university circuit often comes down to finding one person at the school who believes in your program.

George Cheever has started performing as Abe Lincoln once again and he was even recorded by the Bolyston Cable Channel.

Joan Spinazola has gone back to school so she doesn’t have a program yet, but he’s working on a memoir of her mother.  She thought it a good choice since she already looks like her.  We also all thanked Joan for her cannoli, another reason to try to make it to the supper next year.

Janet Parnes got to do her  “Proper Patient of 1900” for the Massachusetts Medical Alliance.  She’s also taken an audition workshop which has given her a new impetus to audition.

Gail Hamel continues bringing Abigail Whitney to the Freedom Trail this summer as well as performances at the Old Manse and adapting her program for libraries.

Beorge Baker told us about his marketing regimen.  He sends 2500 new postcards every 6 months to his mailing list to keep John Adams on their minds.  He also related one particular request by a woman named Pamela to bring JA to a hotel in Atlantic City, but she wanted to make sure he had a sense of humor.  The gig was going to be a bachelorette  party.  George graciously declined saying that while he did have a wonderful sense of humor, his wife doesn’t.

Michael Koran introduced himself to the group.  Michael is a poet, a cable TV producer, has been teaching Finnegans Wake for 20 years and he’s writing a one man show on Abraham.  So far he only has the first line (which I wish I could have copied down), but it is a beginning.

Steven Collins’ Whistler program is up and running and he’s very excited to have a Vincent Price program (The Merchant of Menace” and a Melville program almost ready to go.

George Capaccio now has two Einstein programs which is nicely providing some return visits.  He also suggested we all try to network more with each other.

Deborah Goss has been traveling to New Hampshire since she was picked up by the New Hampshire Humanities to Go, singing and speaking of slavery and women’s rights.

Judith Kalaora hope we can network more and help coach each other.  She’s putting together a World War Woman program as well as working on a House of Hancock musical along the lines of Hamilton.

Kate Carney is doing more coaching and less performing.  If you need a hand with your program, Kate has taught in colleges, directed on Broadway and performed.  She’s done it all and she’s available.

Sharon and Steve Wood are now semi retired.  They’ll work if they feel the mood.

Sarah Kilborne introduced herself to the group.  She’s from New York state and is looking for recommendations on where she might perform her one woman show on the story of queer music before World War II, “The Lavendar Blues” .

Anne Underland, another New Yorker has put together a Fanny Kimball program and was wondering how to market a character who has little name recognition, but a great story.

We ended with a discussion started by Steven Collins on the possibility  of expanding the way we market as a group.  He thought it might be useful if we could put together a group brochure that could be sent to schools, libraries, etc.  It was decided we form an ad hoc committee to look into SoloTogether  marketing.  If you’re interested in being part of such a committee or just have thoughts on the idea, drop Ted or me an email.

The clock struck 8:15, so we all had to exit the carriage house.  Discussions continued, but I can’t take notes in the dark so that’s it until the Fall meeting of SoloTogether.

Mike Francis

Webmaster SoloTogether

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