Passage Theatre Presents '7TH ANNUAL SOLO FLIGHTS FEST' 3/5 Thru 3/29

Passage Theatre, Trenton's premiere professional theater company, will present its 7th annual Solo Flights Festival March 5 through March 29, featuring one-person plays, music and dance at Trenton's historic Mill Hill Playhouse (Front and Montgomery Streets).

From a one-woman musical on The Life of Ethel Waters to one-man's theatrical performance about the interdependence of salmon and people in the Pacific Northwest, Passage Theatre Company's 7th Annual Solo Flights Festival is a celebration of one-person plays, music and dance. A full schedule of events during the month of March will be presented at Trenton's historic Mill Hill Playhouse (Front and Montgomery Streets).

June Ballinger, Artistic Director of Passage Theatre, explains, "It takes courage to create and perform your own work. It's a big risk because there's no net - there are no other actors, no other musicians, no other artists to save you. The payoff is that it gives the artist control of his or her destiny, no longer subject to the casting process or the right vehicle. More and more people are trying to create solo work and the form has changed incredibly."

Solo Flight audiences will experience former Daily Show correspondent Lauren Weedman's razor-sharp confessional comedy Bust in which she relates her early days volunteering in the Los Angeles County Jail at the same time she is pursuing an acting career; The Yellow Wallpaper, a harrowing account of one woman's descent into madness in this faithful dramatization of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story written in 1885, adapted and performed by Michèle LaRue; and racial idenity, feminism, literature, sexuality and Elizabethean history combine in On the Way to Timbuktu, the 2008 Audelco Award winner for Best Solo Show, written and performed by Petronia Paley.

Musical theater will also be represented with Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow, a tribute to the renowned blues singer and Oscar-nominee, performed by Barrymore-nominated actress Demetria Joyce Bailey as Ethel Waters; Terry Waldo, the noted virtuoso ragtime, stride, blues pianist, and protégé of the late Eubie Blake will perform his one-man show This is Ragtime; and cabaret star Mary Cleere Haran will present her new collection of stories and songs, which pay homage to New Jersey -born songwriters, friends and collaborators as Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern.

In the category of unique theatrical experience will be Salmonpeople, a one-man theatrical performance by Peter Donaldson, about the interdependence of salmon and people in the Pacific Northwest; and Mo Beasley, an award-winning performance poet and spoken word artist, who puts a whole new spin on the urban male coming of age story in You a Man Now? Accompanied on stage by Philadelphia DJ Razor Ramone spinning a soundtrack that includes soul, funk and hip hop classics from the '70s and ‘80s, Mo Beasley flips between his cast of characters as fast as the beats.

Rounding out the 7th Annual Solo Flights will be Nimbus Dance Works, which is best known for its innovative, multidisciplinary approach to dance, returns to Passage with another evening of expressive, athletic and poignant performances featuring some of New Jersey's finest dancers. This joyous and imaginative production will have as its centerpiece Nimbus artistic director and choreographer Samuel Pott's (American Repertory Ballet, Oakland Ballet solo piece piece A Letter Home, about a WWII soldier's correspondence with a loved one.

"Solo shows are no longer indulgent personal confessions or docudramas anymore," added Ms. Ballinger. "The solo shows we're presenting in our festival are more theatrical, more adventurous. They have universal themes, but the characters in these shows also speak to specific social and political points of view. The festival has always been an opportunity for us to test waters with adventurous new work. It's an opportunity also for us to challenge our audiences."

Passage Theatre performs in the historic Mill Hill Playhouse an intimate 115-seat theater in the heart of downtown Trenton adjacent to the beautiful Mill Hill district. Security-guarded on-street parking is available on S. Montgomery St., Ernie Kovacs St., E. Front Street and in the Artworks parking lot.

To reserve tickets, please call (609) 392-0766 or visit online at

Tickets can also be purchased at the Passage Theatre Office: 219 East Hanover Street in Trenton, Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm -5:30 pm or at the box office, one hour before each performance at the Mill Hill Playhouse.

Regular admission: general, $20; students, $10; groups of 15 or more, $15; seniors, 10% off.

Please note: Tickets for Salmonpeople are $35; student tickets are $10 (no senior or group discounts). Ticket price for members is $15. Purchase of a ticket includes a pre-show catered reception.

For over 20 years, Passage Theatre has developed and showcased new work by emerging and established playwrights. As a key participant in the revitalization of urban Trenton, Passage presents outstanding plays that celebrate experiences common to all and transcend culture and race.

Passage Theatre is committed to ensuring that all individuals have access to the joy of the performing arts. Passage is dedicated to being a leader in the education and assistance of all organizations, working towards making our programs and services accessible to people with disabilities. For more information, please call (609) 392-0766.

Passage Theatre's mainstage season is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the City of Trenton Department of Recreation, Natural Resources and Culture; the Curtis McGraw Foundation; Rose and Lewis H. Linowitz Charitable Foundation; PNC Bank; The Princeton Area Community Foundation; The Philanthropic Collaborative;and The Garfield Foundation.

Sponsored by Marriott Trenton Lafayette Yard; NJ Transit; The Times; WIMG AM 1300 and The City of Trenton.

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