We think of skits/theatre/plays and a picture of lot of people/actors delivering intense dialogues, conveying a story in front of live audience comes before the eyes. Plays are mostly Team Works but it isn’t limited to just here, there are One Man Shows and a few of them got brilliant only because of their sole sailor.
We are talking about acts which involve only a single person, conveying the story all by himself on the stage!! So here we are going to enlist a few genres of theater which surely are a One Man Show up there beneath the spotlights!

1. Monologues

A monologue is presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience. It’s basically talking to oneself but aloud, in the form of rhythm or speech. Monologues can include poems or epiphanies and are mainly included as part of an act to make the audiences aware with the mental situation of the character in play.

Monologue is mainly used for auditioning purposes for theatre and is therefore, the key for getting into this acting business.

2. One Act Plays

A one-act play, as the name suggests, is a play that takes place, from beginning to end, in a single act.

Full length plays are usually between 2 to 5 acts in length. But this one happens in one go! What makes good one-act plays deceptively tricky to write is that the entire concept is delivered within a very short timeframe, normally of ten minutes duration. While one-act plays have only one act, they can contain more than one scene. However the number of characters played by the actor could be more than one.

In recent years, the 10-minute play known as “flash drama” has emerged as a popular subgenre of the one-act play, especially in writing competitions.

In ancient Greece, Cyclops, a satyr play by Euripides, is an early example.

3. Extempore

“Extempore” or “ex tempore” is a legal term that means ‘at the time’. It refers to a stage or theater performance that is carried out without preparation or forethought. Most often the term is used in the context of speech, singing and stage acting wherein the actor is not given the time to prepare the act and he has to perform on the go! Mostly used in competitions it is a surprising branch of theatre.

4. Improv

Improvisational theatre, often called improv or impro, is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment! In its purest form, the dialogue, the action, the story and the characters are created collaboratively by the player(s) as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script.

Improvisation can be thought of as an “on the spot” or “off the cuff” spontaneous moment of sudden inventiveness that can just come to mind, body and spirit as an inspiration. No preparation or training is needed. However, improvisation in any life or art form can occur more often if it is practiced as a way of encouraging creative behavior. That practice includes learning to use one’s intuition, as well as learning a technical understanding of the necessary skills and concerns within the domain in which one is improvising. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or new ways to act.

5. Monodrama or One Person Show

A monodrama is a theatrical or operatic piece played by a single actor, usually portraying one character.

The typical length for a one-person show is one act or setting. The audience catches a glimpse into the psyche and life of a single character, but does not get to see that character interact with others. Some parallels to the genre exist in movie and television scripts, where single characters are seen contemplating their lives and decisions. In the typical solo play, the character’s experience may involve the resolution of a conflict, may show development of the character, or may be used to explore a theme the author wishes to convey to the audience.

The largest solo theater festival in the world, United Solo takes place annually in New York City at Theatre Row.


Category: Performing Arts
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