Monologuist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. His latest monologue "Monster in a Box" is about all the distractions that prevented him from completing his novel, "Impossible Vacation." Now the monologue has been made into a film of the same name. It's also out in book form, and on top of that, "Impossible Vacation" has just been published. (The book "Monster in a Box" is published by Vintage Press, the book "Impossible Vacation" is published by Knopf, and the film "Monster in a Box" is distributed by Fine Line Features.)
Performance artist Rhodessa Jones. She wrote and performs "Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women," a theatre piece that grew out of her work as an aerobic instructor in the San Francisco City Jail. Her work has been seen in international festivals in Amsterdam, Munich, and Boston. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
After nine years of stand-up comedy, Reynolds wrote a one-man show based on his life, called "Only the Truth is Funny." After ten months of sold-out shows, he was discovered by the agents to Woody Allen and David Letterman. He then moved his show to New York City. His new book is based on his solo show.
The L.A. based musician and performance artist fronted the punk-rock group, Black Flag. He's also the current leader of the Henry Rollins Band. His spoken word performances go back and forth between comedy and serious commentary. He has a new album of these performances, "Boxed Life," and a video, "Talking from the Box."
Gomez is based in San Francisco. Her new show, "Memory Tricks," is running at the Public Theater in New York. Gomez talks about her mother, who worked as an exotic dancer, and who now suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
Handler has played leading roles in seven Broadway productions including, "Six Degrees of Separation," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," and "Master Harold. . . and the boys." He's 32 now; seven years ago he was diagnosed with leukemia. He had a bone marrow transplant, and he's now considered free of the disease. He has a new monologue, "Time on Fire," about his four year struggle with leukemia.
Pierce won the "Songwriter of the Year" award at the 1993 Austin Music Awards. A tribute album of her songs performed by other singers, "Across the Great Divide," won the Album of the Year Award. She's originally from Lubbock, Texas, and little known outside the state. Her songs are quirky, and spiritual. Pierce also wrote and performed the one-woman show, ""Bad Girls Upset About the Truth," told in story and song about her problems with men and Jesus.
Actress and Stanford Theater Professor, Anna Deavere Smith. She performs solo, multi-casted pieces, the scripts of which are transcripts of interviews with real participants of events. "Fires in the Mirrors" (aired on PBS) gave voice to the many facets of the Crown Heights riots.
Actor and playwright David Drake. In 1985, Drake saw the play "The Normal Heart" by playwright Larry Kramer. It was a turning point for Drake. Kramer went on to become a founder of ACT UP--the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Drake a gay man, started on a path of self discovery and activism that has led to his writing a series of vignettes called "The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me" (Anchor Books). (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Actor Sir Ian McKellan. Tomorrow Ian McKellen takes his one-man show, "Ian McKellen: A Knight Out" to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. Since coming out in 1988, Britain's highly acclaimed Shakespearean actor has become an international voice for the gay and lesbian community. His role in Peter Schafer's "Amadeus" earned him a Tony Award in 1981. He has appeared in the recent popular films, "Last Action Hero" and "Six Degrees of Separation," and has plans for a film version of "Richard III."
Monologist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. He's written and performed several monologues including, "Monster in a Box" about all the distractions that prevented him from completing his novel, Impossible Vacation, and Swimming to Cambodia about filming a movie in Cambodia. Now Gray has a new monologue and book about his eye problems, and his adventures in the mainstream and alternative health care industries. It's called Gray's Anatomy. (Vintage Books).
Choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Her troupe, "The Ringside Company" is currently on national tour, with "PopAction." Streb's works combine dance, athletics, daring and precision. Her dancers work on and around such props as scaffolding towers, trampolines, and walls. One reviewer described it as "dazzling speed, wit and daring." (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Actress/painter Mary Woronov. She was part of Andy Warhol's "Factory" in the 1960s. She was discovered while still a college student and was in Warhol's film, "Chelsea Girls," about New York bohemian life. She has a new memoir about those years, Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory (Journey Editions).
Comic and performance artist Marga Gomez. Her new show is "A Line Around the Block" a solo memoir performance about her father, New York Cuban comedian Willy Chevalier. In 1991 Gomez wrote and performed a piece about her mother a flamboyantly self-dramatizing Puerto Rican dancer, "Memory Tricks." Gomez is performing her new show at The Public Theatre in New York, this month.
A new monologue by the NPR commentator, playwright, and housecleaner. "Drama Bug" was featured on This American Life, a nationally broadcast radio program hosted by Ira Glass and produced at WBEZ in Chicago. Sedaris is known nationally for his humor writing; he launched his radio commentator career with his "SantaLand Diaries," broadcast during NPR's "Morning Edition in 1992.
An excerpt from the next edition of "This American Life" from WBEZ: a performance excerpt from monologist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. His latest show "It's a Slippery Slope" opens this Sunday at New York's Lincoln Center Theater. This excerpt was recorded at Chicago's Goodman Theater.
The former Saturday Night Live performer was best known for, Pat, the gender-ambiguous character. Sweeney took the character the big screen, but the result was a flop. When her brother was diagnosed with cancer, she took him into her home to take care of him while he was getting treatment. Her parents also moved in. Sweeney began work on a performance piece as a way to deal with the situation. Her brother eventually died, and she herself was diagnosed with cancer. She's now in remission. Sweeney's one woman show is called "God Said, Ha!"
Since 1979, Gray has been performing monologues about his life and anxieties before audiences. "Swimming to Cambodia" was about the Vietnam war and his acting part in the film "The Killing Fields," "Monster in a Box" was about writing/vacation and Hollywood, and "Gray's Anatomy" was about an eye ailment. His latest is considered his most confessional, "It's a Slippery Slope" about marriage and learning to ski.
Magician and trickster Teller of Penn and Teller. They've been performing for over twenty years, both on Broadway and around the world. The duo has just written "How to Play in Traffic" (Boulevard), an offbeat travel guide, and has also authored "Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends" and "How to Play with Your Food."