Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arts Reporting: Dan Solomon Profiles Annie La Ganga and FronteraFest 2012 for the Austin Chronicle

Austin Chronicle  TX

Alone in the Lab

FronteraFest gives solo performers plenty of room to experiment
By Dan Solomon, Fri., Jan. 13, 2012

Annie La Ganga (image: Bret Brookshire, via Austin Chronicle)The first time she performed a solo show in FronteraFest's Long Fringe, Annie La Ganga wasn't really going solo. "I had two different people help me. They were my directors, kind of," she says, "and I was thinking about how I was going to make people interested, so I made a rehearsal schedule over a few weeks. And then I invited people whom I didn't know very well, whom I thought were really smart, and I asked them if they would come see my rehearsal and give me notes."

The result, for La Ganga, was a slew of critical feedback on the material she was developing for her improvised, one-woman show Let's Make Love Tonight! and a whole group of people who now considered themselves stakeholders in her show's success. "That was smart, right?" she laughs.

It's a clever approach to one of the biggest challenges that a solo performer faces when trying to fill a room for the Long Fringe at FronteraFest. While so many of the annual performance festival's signature pieces have been one-person shows, the fact is that a piece with an ensemble onstage and a crew tends to have a built-in audience; a dozen people involved in the show means a dozen people's friends, families, and fans are likely to show up. But for the performances that involve a single person onstage, the pressure is on to get people to turn out.

[image: Bret Brookshire via the Austin Chronicle]

Read full text at the Austin Chronicle. . . .

Click for Dan Solomon's Picks -- 8 Solo Pieces at Fronterafest 2012

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