How to Write a Solo Show (That People Actually Want to See)

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Admit it: Every time you hear “solo show,” an air of dread immediately consumes you. It’s not your fault! Many, many, many solo shows are—at best—not great.

But when a solo show works, it really works. Just ask Mike Birbiglia, whose latest one-man outing, “The New One,” just opened on Broadway (marking his Broadway debut). Birbiglia himself is first to admit there is no surefire formula for how to make a one-person show stick (“It was a series of steps over years. And, even then on top of that, it’s luck.); however, he took to the New York Times to lay out six helpful tips all aspiring solo performers can enact:

  1. Write in a journal
  2. Share it with your smartest friends
  3. Hire your wife
  4. Practice
  5. Rewrite
  6. Brace yourself for criticism

To help you better understand these directives (particularly No. 3), Birbiglia elaborates in the full piece, which you can check out right here.

Looking to get cast? Apply to casting calls on Backstage!

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Casey Mink
Casey Mink is the senior staff writer at Backstage. When she's not writing about television, film, or theater, she is definitely somewhere watching it.
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