Founded in 2010 by local performance artists and curators Thomas Choinacky and Amanda Grove, the DIY SolowFest has forever been an intimate affair with actors, artists, dancers, and independent creators – often in configurations of one performer per showcase – fashioning moving theater, in miniature, using unusual environments and unique situations as their guide. At once, the SoLow Fest became an antidote to the bourgeoning grandeur of the Fringe Fest as well as its own, spare sister and an entity all its own. Registration for artists was free, too – another big plus for performers on a budget – as well as open to all for the sake of transparency and democracy.
Ten years on, SoLow is currently run and curated – as it has been since 2016 – by Chris Davis, who states that this year’s fest, due to all things C-19, is all virtual. And accessible via solowfest.com, from June 19 to June 28.
“SoLow the same ethics as before, totally open festival, no screening or selection process, everyone is accepted,” says David. “We probably have a 1/5th of the shows we normally have because of the pandemic. I removed the application deadline to encourage more people to participate and made the decision for it to go virtual late March. Then again, in some ways, it’s changed a lot but it’s totally the same. The shows are quirky, weird, and interesting. One of the shows you simply write a letter and it’s opened on air live. Other shows you have to make an appointment and receive a phone call. Part theater, part game, part self-care like…”
Most of the shows are non-ticketed and pay-what-you-can, and many of them are raising donations for various social causes.
“Our hope is that SoLow Fest continues its aesthetic of DIY theater, embracing the independence and creativity of the artist, and present their work in this challenging time.”