Hunter Foster, Taylor Trensch, Sarah Stiles, Fred Grandy & More Announced for Theatre Aspen's SOLO FLIGHTS FESTIVAL

Solo Flights is an annual weeklong developmental festival of one-person shows presented in the beginning stages of their making.

By: Jun. 18, 2021
Hunter Foster, Taylor Trensch, Sarah Stiles, Fred Grandy & More Announced for Theatre Aspen's SOLO FLIGHTS FESTIVAL

Ahead of the start of the 38th Season, Theatre Aspen announced today that after a successful first flight, the organization will present its second annual one-person show festival, Solo Flights, as the third act of this year's summer season, August 25 - 31, 2021 at the Hurst Theatre in Aspen, Colorado.

A very special Solo Flights production of Give 'Em Hell, Harry! by Samuel Gallu, starring Fred Grandy (from the beloved "Love Boat" and former United States Representative from Iowa) and directed by Tony Award nominee Hunter Foster will be presented for two-nights-only, ahead of the full Solo Flights lineup, on Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24.

"We could not be prouder of our inaugural Solo Flights Festival," says Bernstein. "Audiences enthusiastically joined us to explore new projects in their earliest phases of development. This year, we have added even more new works, including a special mid-season presentation of a solo-show classic. Incorporating this year's pieces into our mainstage summer season, we look forward to sharing the second annual Solo Flights Festival with an even wider audience than before."

Solo Flights is an annual weeklong developmental festival of one-person shows presented in the beginning stages of their making. In addition to the performances, Solo Flights features signature events including talkbacks, creative discussions & panels (August 27 & 29 @ 5:30 PM in the Hurst Theatre lobby), and special receptions.

Productions for the second annual Solo Flights Festival include Clean by Siminovitch Protege Prize and Dora Mavor Moore Award winner Christine Quintana, directed by Time Warner WP Theater Fellow, Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, Van Lier Directing Fellow at Second Stage Theatre Melissa Crespo; Esmeranda's Gift (Or How To Make a Crossword Puzzle and Solve Your Life)) by Primus and Blackburn Prize nominee, and three-time Emanuel Fried Award winner Donna Hoke, starring two-time Tony Award nominee Sarah Stiles, directed by Tony nominee Hunter Foster; A Good Day to Me Not to You written by and starring Drama Desk Award winner Lameece Issaq, directed by Obie Award winner, and Artistic Director of Waterwell, Lee Sunday Evans; Making Good by London-based playwright Stuart Slade, starring Denver Post Ovation Award winner Taylor Trensch, directed by Drama Desk nominee and SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellow Tyne Rafaeli; The Noah Racey Project written by and starring Broadway's Noah Racey, directed by three-time Tony and Drama Desk nominee Dick Scanlan; A Shot Rang Out by Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Richard Greenberg, starring Artistic Director of South Coast Repertory, David Ivers, directed by former Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Tony Taccone; and Token written by and starring Chicago based performer Kaye Winks, directed by Schoen Smith.

Solo Flights Festival passes are now available. A Platinum Pass ($350) includes two tickets to every show. A Silver Pass ($200) includes a six-ticket sampler to use for combination of shows. Passes are available by phone at 970 925 9313 or by visiting

The 2021 Theatre Aspen Solo Flights Festival is presented in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies, James & Brenda Grusecki, Rick & Rachel Klausner and Karen Brooks.

As previously announced, Theatre Aspen's 2021 Hurst Theatre mainstage season features the musicals Chicago (June 30 - July 22) and Rock of Ages (July 30 - August 21).

The 2021 summer season will also include several special events, kicking off with the annual Season Sneak Peek this Sunday, June 20 at 6:30 PM at the Hurst Theatre. The ever-popular Theatre Aspen Summer Cabaret Series returns for its third season of dinner and performances (July 11, August 8 & 9, August 15) at various restaurants and venues around Aspen.

In addition to the main stage season, Theatre Aspen Education will present three summertime productions this year: A Midsummer Night's Dream - the first annual TA Education Shakespeare production - in the John Denver Sanctuary (July 8 - 10) along with Willy Wonka, Jr. (July 29 - 31) and Peter and the Starcatcher (August 5 - 8) at The District Theater.

Theatre Aspen is committed to providing healthy and safe facilities for audiences, performers, and staff, as well as flexible attendance options. This summer, Theatre Aspen will offer two options for patrons to enjoy the show in the way that is most comfortable for them.

Traditional Audience Seating: At these performances, the audience members will be seated in a non-distanced manner. Attendees (16 years of age or older) must offer proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 48-hours of the performance.

Socially Distanced Shows: At these performances, the audience members will be socially distanced for those who would be more comfortable in this configuration.

Masks will be required to attend all performances.

Mobile ticketing, cashless transactions, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection policies will remain in effect at all performances.

The inaugural Solo Flights festival was held September 18 - 21, 2019 at Theatre Aspen's Hurst Theatre and featured four presentations, including three-time Emmy Award, two-time Golden Globe Award, and Grammy Award winner, Beau Bridges in Coach: An Evening with John Wooden by Emmy and Golden Globe nominee John Wilder and directed by Lucille Lortel Award, two-time Barrymore Award, and four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Joe Calarco; two-time Tony Award, three-time Drama Desk Award, two-time Outer Critics Circle Award, and Lucille Lortel Award nominee Kate Baldwin in Jenny Giering and Sean Barry's one-woman musical What We Leave Behind, directed by Tracy Brigden, alongside music director, Drama Desk Award nominee, Lynne Shankel; Television star Joy Nash in Courtney Baron's When It's You, directed by Kent Nicholson; and Dr. Glas by Edgar Award-nominated playwright Jeffrey Hatcher starring Obie Award and Drama Desk Award winner Daniel Gerroll and directed by two-time Obie winner Lisa Peterson.

For thirty-eight years Theatre Aspen has been rekindling a sense of discovery in audiences who live in and visit the Roaring Fork Valley by producing big theatre in a small space with intimate storytelling. Each season at Theatre Aspen promises to bring world-class theatre dramatically closer, with innovative and imaginative productions of both plays and musicals, complemented by an assortment of community events including late-night cabarets, educational programs and performances, collaborations with other Aspen arts organizations, and new works presentations. Theatre Aspen also boasts an impressive Apprentice Program, one of the largest in the country, devoted to training the next generation of theatrical artists and administrators. To learn more about Theatre Aspen visit or call 970 925 9313.


Give 'Em Hell, Harry!

Friday, July 23; Saturday, July 24, 8PM

By Samuel Gallu | Starring Fred Grandy | Directed by Hunter Foster

When Harry Truman was unexpectedly thrust into the U.S. Presidency in 1945, he was ridiculed by both the press and the public as "the little man from Missouri". Seven years later when he left office, he was hailed the world over as one of the great leaders of the 20th Century. Now actor and former US Congressman Fred Grandy, well known from his years as Gopher on The Love Boat, offers a virtuoso turn as our 33rd President in a new production of Give 'Em Hell, Harry!. This one-man-show tells the inspirational story of the feisty mule trader's son who rose from obscurity to successfully guide our country through one of the most turbulent periods in American history. Using Truman's own words Samuel Gallu's play reminds us that the gentle wit and plain-spoken wisdom of Harry Truman is even more relevant and engaging today than when it premiered in 1975.


Wednesday, August 25, 7:30PM; Saturday, August 28, 1PM

By Christine Quintana | Directed by Melissa Crespo

Memories, fantasies, and reality mix on a rainy night at a Cancun resort. Adriana, a hotel floor manager, is reeling from the news of her father's death. Sarah, a visiting wedding guest, is haunted by events from the past. When a chance incident connects them, the echoes of their pasts and imagined futures collide with the present, in the false paradise of the resort.

Esmeranda's Gift (Or How To Make a Crossword Puzzle and Solve Your Life)

Friday, August 27, 7:30PM; Sunday, August 29, 4PM

By Donna Hoke | Starring Sarah Stiles | Directed by Hunter Foster

The Puzzlemaker has a new client: her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend-and that's the puzzle she's making for you at her latest workshop. In designing a puzzle for the man she still loves, the Puzzlemaker embarks on an agenda to win him back. But as she reveals the tricks of her trade, she also reveals something unexpected. Will she use her puzzle making powers for good--or evil?

A Good Day to Me Not to You

Thurs., August 26, 4PM; Sun., August 29, 7:30PM

By Lameece Issaq | Starring Lameece Issaq | Directed by Lee Sunday Evans

A 40-whatever dental lab technician's assistant gets fired and moves into St. Agnes Residence, a woman's rooming house run by nuns in New York City. There, she must finally come to terms with the untimely passing of her younger sister, who died while giving birth, and face the consequences of her own untaken path to motherhood. All while fending off the verbal assaults of her unpredictable and sometimes deranged cohabitants. Inspired by Issaq's time living in a woman's rooming house run by nuns in NYC, A Good Day to Me, Not to You is a fictional exploration based on a few truths.

Making Good

Friday, August 27, 4PM; Tuesday, August 31, 7:30PM

By Stuart Slade | Starring Taylor Trensch | Directed by Tyne Rafaeli

When a young painter & decorator discovers a hedge fund manager dead in a kitchen he decides to steal his identity and live a high-rolling life... but finds that living this lie costs him far more than he ever could have imagined.

Making Good is a pitch black, surprisingly tender comedy that's kinda an unholy cross between The Talented Mr. Ripley (with a tiny bit of American Psycho thrown in) and a super-sweet rom com.

It is a show about growing up dirt poor, then suddenly finding yourself impossibly rich. It's about wearing the mask of success, but gradually realizing that the mask eats into your face. But most of all it's about falling head over heels in love for the first time, all the while knowing that your relationship is entirely based on (absolutely massive) lies, and yearning to tell the truth to the woman you love... but, well, is honesty always the best policy? Especially when you've got the body of a hedge fund manager stashed away in your freezer?

The Noah Racey Project

Saturday, August 28, 4PM; Monday, August 30, 7:30PM

By Noah Racey | Starring Noah Racey | Directed by Dick Scanlan

Noah Racey is one of Broadway's top song-and-tap dance men, but his story is anything but 42nd Street. The rhythm of his life was set by the drumming circle at the commune in the Pacific Northwest where his woke and pioneering parents raised their kids. All that freedom gave Noah and his sisters permission to do, say and be what they want-but free love has unintended consequences when children are around. Using the humor and charm he honed on Broadway-not to mention his astonishing tap dancing!-and supported by a pianist and percussionist performing a contemporary jazz score created for this story, Noah explores the competing needs each of us has for freedom and for safety.

A Shot Rang Out

Saturday, August 28, 7:30PM; Monday, August 30, 4PM

By Richard Greenberg | Starring David Ivers | Directed by Tony Taccone

After a long period of pandemic isolation, an actor returns to the stage, alone and shaken. This is his story-his moment of reckoning-about what led to his seclusion. Along the winding journey, he draws inspiration from movies and theatre, reflects on missteps and unravels mysteries of love.


Thursday, August 26, 7:30PM; Tuesday, August 31, 4PM

By Kaye Winks | Starring Kaye Winks | Directed by Schoen Smith

With satirical wit and sharp-tongued charm, Token chronicles one woman's hilarious and often cringeworthy adventures of growing up black in the nearly all-white world of the suburban Midwest. The biting wisdom of her jaunty grandmother from Mississippi guides her conscience as she illustrates with vibrant, self-deprecating detail her experiences being torn between the culture of her extended family on the south side of Chicago and the WASPy climate of her native lily-white neighborhood. At the heart of her tales is a comical yet poignant and relatable coming-of-age story about what it means to be all-American in a place obsessed with race.

Talkbacks, Creative Discussions & Panels | Fri., Aug. 27; Sun., Aug. 29, 5:30PM


Solo Flights Festival passes are now available. A Platinum Pass ($350) includes two tickets to every show. A Silver Pass ($200) includes a six-ticket sampler to use for combination of shows. Tickets to Theatre Aspen's other summer 2021 offerings are available at or by phone at 970 925 9313. The Theatre Aspen Box Office (470 Rio Grande Place, Aspen, CO 81611) will open June 20 at which point tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the Hurst Theatre.


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