United Solo has announced their nominations for the 2020 United Solo Special Award, which honors outstanding solo performers.
Despite having to postpone the 11th Annual New York Festival and inaugural London festival due to the ongoing public health crisis, United Solo is still committed to honoring solo performers and celebrating their work. “Though current public health conditions challenge our ability to host in-person festivals, the show must go on, and ours certainly will,” said founder and artistic director Omar Sangare. “Our next season, in the fall of 2021, will feature an exciting and diverse slate of outstanding solo shows.”
In 2020, the United Solo Academy has nominated four performers for the Special Award: Laura Linney, Bellina Logan, Sir Ian McKellen, and Andrew Scott.
Laura Linney’s Broadway performance of “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, is an American premiere adapted by Rona Munro from the bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout. Ms. Linney plays Lucy Barton, a woman who finds her mother at the foot of her hospital bed following an operation, after not having seen her for years. The New York Times hailed Ms. Linney as “luminous” for her performance.
Bellina Logan earns a nomination for her performance in “Confessions of a Mulatto Love Child,” her critically-acclaimed solo show. In the performance, Ms. Logan explores the intricate story of a daughter, her eccentric mother, and the powerful bond they developed during a life-changing, cross-country road trip. Ms. Logan’s story is a shining example of how to reconcile a racially-divided nation. Her show was highly recommended by critics and awarded by All About Solo with a Critics’ Choice recognition.
After touring his solo show last year, Sir Ian McKellen took his solo performance, “Ian McKellen on Stage: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and You!” to London’s West End for a limited run. The show is in celebration of McKellen’s 80th birthday and explores anecdotes and stories from his prolific career in the entertainment industry— from the stage to the screen. “Ian McKellen on Stage” shines for its conceptual brilliance and acting finesse.
Andrew Scott’s virtual performance of “Sea Wall,” which was available for streaming shortly after the start of the pandemic, portrays solo performance in an entirely new light. Scott portrays Alex, a man suffering from emotionas life’s inevitable ups and downs. His show is an exemplary proof of how performing arts can quickly and effectively adapt to challenging times with resilience, emotion, and meaningful commentary.
Photo of Bellina Logan by Ken Sawyer Photography. Photo of Sir Ian McKellen by Jack Macguire. Photo of Andrew Scott by Paulae (CC BY-SA 4.0). All Creative Commons licenses available at www.creativecommons.org.