Who We Are
Founded in 2014, Gotta Van Productions is an independent, nonprofit theatre company dedicated to the development and presentation of solo performances and new small-cast plays that illuminate the human condition
especially of those who are “other than."
We believe in affordable theatre, that supports diversity, collaboration, and the transformative power of intimate theatre for both artists and audiences. We are open to the possibilities of theatre in both traditional and non-traditional spaces and frameworks such as festivals, fringe theatre, video and Internet.
Ann Morrison, Artistic Director
Blake Walton, Associate Artistic Director
Gotta Van Productions, Inc.
Board of Directors
Jan Docking, President
Carole Kleinberg, Secretary
Ken Kwiatkowski, Treasurer, CPA
Rod Rawlings, Chairman
Dr. Louis Rowitz
David A. Coyle, Co-Founder, President Emeritus
Natalie Grundum, Board of Directors Emeritus
Gotta Van Productions, Inc.
dba SaraSolo, SaraSolo Festival
P.O. Box 3102, Sarasota FL 34230
Board of Directors, President Jan Docking
Gotta Van Productions, Inc. is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation.
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free within the state
(1-800-HELP-FLA) or from the website:www.freshfromflorida.com. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. One hundred percent (100%) of each contribution is received by Gotta Van Productions, Inc. Registration #CH-41957
The 2017 SaraSolo Festival
The 2016 SaraSolo Festival
The 2015 SaraSolo Festival
Performances at Home Resource, Sarasota
The Starlite Room, Sarasota
and United Solo Festival, NYC
We would like you to be informed, become involved
and be a part of our performances and events.
Celebrating the solo performer
Presented by Gotta Van Productions
at the Crocker Memorial Church, Pioneer Park
2017 SaraSolo Festival
22 performers in 20 performances
over two weekends
on Saturdays and Sundays
January 28, 29, Feb. 3, 4, 5
plus our added venue The Starlite Room
Last year we hosted 24 performers in 16 presentations
Our performers included local luminaries Carolyn Michel, Christine Alexander, Lynne Bernfield, Alan Brasington, and Jenny Aldrich. Our audiences were introduced to new friends Becca McCoy, Wayne Hosford, Zach Dorn, Stevie Coyle, Vanessa Webb, Clara Francesca and Kaylene McCaw.
Our first festival brought performers mostly from Sarasota and Tampa Bay. Three performers represented award winners from The United Solo Festival in New York including Internationally known mime and actor Bill Bowers.
Best New Festival
This new festival, the brainchild of Sarasota actress Ann Morrison and former Sarasotan Blake Walton, started small, celebrating the art of the one-person show with about 15 different acts at the Crocker Memorial Church. You were bound to find something you liked. Stay tuned for news of next year’s event
2015 Handy Awards
SaraSolo Festival co-founders Blake Walton, left, and Ann Morrison, right, with mime Bill Bowers before his performance of "It Goes Without Saying" at the first festival, which is recognized in the 2015 Handy Awards as a New Arrival. Staff photo/Jay Handelman
I thought my appetite for one-person shows would be more limited than it turned out to be during the inaugural SaraSolo Festival, two weekends of solo performances that were either musical, historical or fictional. I saw more than half the offerings and it was entertaining to experience such a variety, even when the results weren’t always polished. Founders Ann Morrison, Blake Walton and David Coyle will be back with another two-weekend festival, this time starting in late January.
2017 SaraSolo Performance Schedule
*Note that After Hours Performances are held at The Starlite Room, 1001 Cocoanut Ave.
GOLDEN ROADS: A New Musical About Golda Meir
Sat. 1/28 @1pm
Sharon Ohrenstein (book and lyrics) performs multiple characters as Golda takes her extraordinary journey from Pinsk to Prime Minster of Israel. Her true love and spirit guide, Zion, follows her every move. Nobody Can Tell Me, I Do, We Have Returned, My Heart Is Always Home (composer: David Ohrenstein) are a few of the songs.
THE PINK HULK: A One Woman’s Journey To Find The Superhero Within - Written by Valerie David, Directed by Padraic Lillis
Sat. 1/28 @3pm
Valerie David’s hilarious and moving journey about becoming a two-time cancer survivor, kicking cancer to the curb while she embarks on a nonstop quest for love and new meaning in her life! Having had lymphoma, she is now diagnosed with breast cancer. Experience her devastation-turned-determination as Valerie’s “hulk-like” strength inspires her resolve to find her superhero within—a true and inspiring story! Show website: http://pinkhulkplay.com/
GUTLESS & GRATEFUL!
Sat. 1/28 @5pm
Amy had ambitious plans for Broadway, until she abruptly developed a blood clot the week before her high school senior prom. Months later, she awoke from a coma to learn that after her stomach had exploded, she might never be able to digest food again. But after 27 surgeries, determination and an inner "hunger" for life, she learned that the human spirit heals through “gutsiness”, gratitude, and an overabundance of humor.
SPITTING IN THE FACE OF THE DEVIL
Written by Bob Brader Directed and developed by Suzanne Bachner
Sat. 1/28 @7pm
In this daring, uplifting and often comedic solo show, Bob Brader tells the gripping, true story of discovering that his abusive and charismatic ex-Marine father is a pedophile.Hailed by critics as “brilliant”, “masterful” and “unforgettable”, the show toured the U.S. and Canada to tremendous critical acclaim.“Best Show of the London Fringe” from The Beat Arts in London, “Fringe Hit” in the Atlantic Fringe, “Pick of the Fringe” at the Victoria Fringe Festival, “Best of the Fringe” at the San Francisco Fringe Festival and “Best Script” and “Best Encore” in the United Solo Theatre Festival, NYC. Show website:www.spittinginthefaceofthedevil.com
YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK
Sat 1/28 @9:30pm
*SaraSolo After Hours - The Starlite Room
Listen Ya'll. You are what you think. Now that can be pretty or it can down right stink. This Georgia peach by way of Mobile, AL will share her thoughts on the matter and sing straight into your soul with music of Cole Porter, Sondheim, and maybe a little Patsy Cline before the evening is through. Accompanied by the fabulous Justin Havard, Paula will croon, swing, belt and show you her true heart. Lots of layers to this Vidalia onion.
Sun. 1/29 @1pm
Sassafras-skin is Frannie’s memoir depicting her eclectic journey from Southern Belle shoulda-be thru tribal wanna-be to almost finding her outer-cowboy and , in the end, finally discovering her inner. Frannie enjoys weaving together spoken word with music using an array of enticing acoustic instruments from Hawaiian guitaralele to West African bourgaraboo and more to enhance her unique, often mirthful, performances.
BED, BETH AND BEYOND
Written by Beth Dzuricky, Directed by George Bartenieff
Sun. 1/29 @3pm
BED, BETH AND BEYOND is an uncommonly honest and personal story of transformation. Alternating between story-telling and re-enactment, Beth uses humor and ritual to transform desire and loss into a bed of roses. From Erie, PA to NYC, go to the depths with Beth in this diving pool of drama and spiritual comedy.
Artist Website: http://www.bethdzuricky.com/
STARLIGHT! STARBRIGHT! I wish I was a star tonight
Sun. 1/29 @5pm
Desperate to become famous, 64 year old "Myuoso," is auditioning for a reality TV series. Along with demonstrating his diverse talents, the producers require him to reveal a personal secret- one he has never shared with anyone. Weaving music, ethnic dance, Eastern Europe cuisine, and storytelling, Myuoso shares the turbulent challenges of a man’s healing from adolescent sexual abuse.
Michael Royal, Jazz Pianist
Sun. 1/29 @7pm
Freeplay. How do you make it up as you go along? In a world where the entertainment industry treats music as a commodity and prospers on artificial divisions, Royal’s FreePlay music uses cultural inheritances without re=creating them and draws upon a variety of elements from different sources. Feeling is always the generating force. Artist Website: http://www.michaelroyal.com/
Lori D. Shannon
SUPERWOMAN DIED TONIGHT
Sun. 1/29 @9:30pm
*SaraSolo After Hours - The Starlite Room
Superwoman Died Tonight is based on original works by Lori D. Shannon concerning her life experiences and her family’s struggle with addiction. It also explores the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the burden of trying to live up to a lifetime of unrealistic historical and social expectations.
HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
Written by Heather Massie
Sat. 2/4 @1pm
Hedy Lamarr, glamorous siren of the silver screen, was more than the most beautiful woman in the world. She invented Frequency Hopping and Spread Spectrum Technology that make the world of wireless communication tick. From Austria to Hollywood, WWII, torpedoes. ecstasy, and intrigue to the very cell phone in your pocket, she was there.
WORDS FROM THE HEART
Sat. 2/4 @3pm
A Boy comes to terms with the life fallen about him, which he believes is not his. And survives through reading, his imagination and a teacher who explains the truth of Ancient Light. Alan Brasington is the recipient of the 2016 SaraSolo "Bravura Award" for THE POEM of MY LIFE.
BECOMING MIA ROSE
Written by Gayelene Carbis, Developed by Clara Francesca Pagone with Blake Walton, Director
Sat. 2/4 @5pm
"I was always pretending to be somebody else ..." - Mia Rose/Marilyn Monroe
Mia Rose's world is chaos. She dreams of Marilyn and men - fantasy and reality are converging, memories of childhood erupting, as Mia Rose grapples with a complex insight into her womanhood and her multiple selves. In between love, sex, and violence, is redemption really possible? Clara Francesca was awarded the "Best Artist Award" at the 2016 SaraSolo Festival for MRS. MARX.
TOP DRAWER: DYSFUNCTION AND REDEMPTION FROM PARK AVENUE TO HAVANA
Written by Adelaide Mestre, Directed by Coco Cohn
Sat. 2/4 @7pm
Adelaide Mestre’s story of her journey to Cuba to seek out her deceased father’s piano and a chronicle of growing up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with her mother, a thrice married, opera-singing socialite and her father, a gay, Cuban, manic-depressive concert pianist. You will laugh, cry and maybe even… sing.
Stephen K. Davis
THE BIRTH OF HUMOR
Written by Stephen K. Davis, Directed by Blake Walton
Sat. 2/4 @9:30pm
*SaraSolo After Hours - The Starlite Room
The Birth Of Humor is a brave stand-up comedy act juxtaposed with a collection of real life events of a gay boy growing up in the Deep South who becomes an actor in New York. The truth of his life stories informs his humor and the laughter makes everything possible.
GUIDANCE ON DEMAND - Sun. 2/5 @1pm
Guidance On Demand is a visitation with "Our Lady Melody," who is a Senior Software Technician with Universal Technical Support who, with the poetry of her thought, illuminates hidden possibilities. Our Lady cleans up the glitches in your navigational software with storytelling and original music. Caution: May cause "spontaneous ascension." Kaylene is the recipient of the 2016 "John Ringling Towers Award." "G.O.D." was developed through the 2015 & 2016 SaraSolo Festivals.
A STOPPING PLACE - Sun. 2/5 @3pm
Midway through his journey in life, a man finds himself in a dark room. He is lost, but he has a plan. If he can overcome what brought him to this point, a way forward could appear. It’s a simple task. And then there’s the red ball. Stephen is the recipient of the 2016 United Solo Award for "Best Storytelling Show" for A STOPPING PLACE.
Timothy McCown Reynolds
Written by Kirk Wood Bromley, Directed by Brendan Turk
Sun. 2/5 @5pm
A man sitting in his room is attempting to muster the courage to meet his parents for dinner. We quickly discover that there are reasons for his anxiety, stemming from his submission to Syndrome, a "spectrum of psychological disorders" that have taken over his mind via the following code words: Tourette's, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Paranoia, and Delusion.
Of course, this man is perfectly normal, but he has a job to do. He must conquer Syndrome. And the only way to do that is by fully engaging, and then defusing, his manic-depressive array of memories, obsessions, and tics.
SHIRLEY AND ME
Written by Jan Wallace, Directed by E. Katherine Kerr
Sun. 2/5 @7pm
Having performed Shirley Valentine over a four-year period around New York and Connecticut, Jan Wallace, with humor and honesty, relives her experience of performing the show, how it affected her then and how the character of Shirley inspires her now. She once again brings to life Shirley Valentine as she includes some memorable extracts from this remarkable play.
3 performers in staged works-in-progress.
Fri. 2/3 @7pm - *The Starlite Room
Steve McAllister - THE COWBOY CABARET
An interactive performance of music, poetry, improv, and comedy. Audiences get the opportunity to select the songs they want to hear, which are accompanied with poems and anecdotes of life on the range and within the fences we’ve built.
Anne Foley Alper - MOTHER LOAD AND MORE
A woman directing a 'one woman show' workshop, reflects on her mid-life and post mid-life, while introducing us to some of the participants who have poignant or humorous stories of their own.
Gabrielle Lennon - TOUCH ME REAL
A moving play about longing and loss when someone who at one time seemed familiar, loving and gentle, shows a deeply disturbing side.
"Betwixt Week" Monday-Friday 1/30-2/3
All Events are at 7pm, The Starlite Room 2nd Fl.
Tuesday 1/31 - Ann Morrison's Cabaret Performance Master Class - Participants will work with Ann on a song with Theresa O'Connell.
Wednesday 3/1 - SaraSolo Beyond - Play Reading of "Heard There Was A Party...Came" (a Beatrice Lillie play) Written and Performed by Blake Walton and Ann Morrison. Free to public. Reserve at: email@example.com
Thursday 3/2 - Blake Walton's Solo Playwriting Workshop " That's My
Story And I'm Sticking To It." Writing exercises regarding personal story. $10 donation.
Jan Docking Named New Board President of Gotta Van Productions
Gotta Van Productions is pleased to announce that Jan Docking, of Sarasota, has assumed the role of
President of the Board of Directors effective immediately.
In addition to a stellar career in finance and human resources, most recently with the City of Sarasota, Jan brings many years of expertise in Board Work for nonprofit organizations. As a vital member of the Board of the Directors of Key Chorale for 14 years, she contributed in a wide range of capacities including development, event planning, marketing, and community outreach.
Mrs. Docking has had a lifelong love of the arts and has been involved in local community theater productions on
stage and/or backstage in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice and Anna Maria Island.
The Giving Challenge
Our first year was a success!
Thanks to our generous donors through the Giving Challenge,
we were able to raise $5,916, most of which will be tripled when matched by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County
and the supporting partners!
These dollars will help us tremendously as we look forward to the 2017 SaraSolo Festival in January!
Some of our 2016 performers
First Weekend Gems