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March 18, 2023

One-Woman Shows


One female actor is all that’s needed for a theatrical tour de force. Explore the intimate world of one-woman shows and the powerful stories they tell in this collection of musicals and plays.


Love, Linda (The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter) music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Stevie Holland with Gary William Friendman (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy)
In this sensational show, Linda Lee Thomas recounts her life’s journey with Cole Porter. Though Porter was gay, their companionship lasted through 35 years of a spectacular, glamour-filled marriage. The music of Cole Porter weaves through compelling narrative, examining the darker sides of their life, while also celebrating the deep love in their unconventional relationship.

Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class by Dan Goggin (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy)
Sister Robert Anne is feisty, street-smart, hilarious and immensely talented. As she “teaches” us how to put together a cabaret act, she takes us on a journey of some of the most memorable numbers by award-winning composer Dan Goggin.

Tell Me on a Sunday music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Don Black (US)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy)
A young English girl who has recently landed in New York sets out to seek success, companionship and, of course, love. But as she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties, frustrations and heartaches, she begins to wonder whether – in fact – she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places.

2013 York Theatre Company production of Love, Linda (Carol Rosegg)


Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy)
A single mother’s return to the world of dating lands her in hot water in his idiosyncratic journey of self-discovery, involving the Romanian mob, a Buddhist rainstorm, a teenage daughter, shoes, and a few very bad dates.

Blown Sideways Through Life by Claudia Shear (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy)
This hilarious tour through the job jungle began as an autobiographical solo show and became a national phenomenon. Through jobs lost and found (from nude model to waitress), wisdom gained and, above all, the joys of adventure and self-obsession, Blown Sideways… transcends the personal to achieve universal appeal.

Brontë by William Luce (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Based on the life of Charlotte Brontë, this play begins in 1849 when she, at 33, returns from burying her sister Anne. She has resigned herself to the notion that she will live and die a lonely old maid. As the play unfolds, Charlotte comes to terms with her genius and her need for love. Check out more of Luce’s one-woman shows about famous women: Isak Dinesen in Lucifer’s Child (US) and Zelda Fitzgerald in The Last Flapper (US).

Cincinnati by Don Nigro (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
This complex and terrifying play tells the story of a woman who believes she is the center of a universe that exists simply to torment her. Powerful, funny, disturbing and disorienting, this play stretches one actress to the limit of her abilities and takes theatre to the edge of madness.

Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy)
Erma Bombeck comes to life onstage in a comic look at one of our country’s most beloved voices. Discover the story behind America’s esteemed humorist who championed women’s lives with wit that sprang from the most unexpected place of all – the truth.

Funeral Flowers by Emma Dennis-Edwards (UK)
(Monologues, Drama)
This play follows the story of Angelique, a 17-year-old whose dreams of being a florist are a refuge from a complicated adolescence. With her mum in prison, Angelique faces bullying, abuse and growing up in the care system.

Girls & Boys by Dennis Kelly (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
An unnamed woman explains how an unexpected meeting at an airport has led to an intense, passionate, head-over-heels relationship. Before long they begin to settle down, buy a house, juggle careers, have kids – theirs is an ordinary family. But their world starts to unravel when things take a disturbing turn.

How to be Brave by Siân Owen (UK)
(Monologues, Drama)
When Katie was little, she was brave: climbing trees and riding bikes too fast. Now Katie’s a mum, she must be brave in a new way. Determined her daughter will keep the fierce magic she arrived into the world with, Katie sets off on a mission around Newport with the help of a stolen BMX, a policewoman with bad hair, and a pigeon in a bag.

Jack Was Kind by Tracy Thorne (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
A privileged woman defends and explores her role in her husband’s illicit behavior. This intimate, confessional story examines long-seated issues of privilege and complicity at the core of America, giving an imagined and painfully human backstory to an actual event that will affect the country for generations to come.

Lillian by David Cale (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Lillian, a bookish, middle-aged British woman, falls for Jimmy, a man half her age. Promptly divorcing her husband, she marries the young man. Unbeknownst to Lillian, Jimmy has a terminal heart condition, and his anticipation of the end fills him with a restless energy.
A one-actor exploration of two lonely people whose energies and histories intersect to change their lives.

Marilyn/God by Rosary Hartel O’Neill (US)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy)
Marilyn has just died and must audition for heaven. Will she get in? The play explores the multi-levels of complexity of cult goddess Marilyn Monroe – her vulnerability and anger, and how Americans’ worship of beauty and fame fueled her rise to stardom.

May Queen by Frankie Meredith (UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
May Day in Coventry, 2022. Sixteen-year-old Leigh has been chosen as May Queen. The cider is flowing and St George’s flag is flying – but during the day’s festivities something happens. Something disturbing, but maybe… unsurprising. As the year moves on in the City of Peace and Reconciliation, Leigh must face up to the events of that hot May Day, and dig deep within herself to ask – how did she get here? And how does she get out?

Mustard by Eva O’Connor (UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
When E meets the man of her dreams, love hits her in the pubic bone like a train. For a brief period, she is high on life – he’s the answer to her crippling loneliness, her self-harm issues, her non-existent career. But when he cheats on her and ends the relationship, E plummets into a black hole of heartbreak. She turns to her only friend – mustard.

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Rona Munro, Elizabeth Strout (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Lucy Barton wakes after an operation to discover – much to her surprise – her mother at the foot of her bed. They haven’t seen each other in years. During their days-long visit, Lucy begins to understand her past, come to terms with her family, and find herself as a writer. A haunting new adaptation from the bestselling novel.

Oldest Living Confederate Widow: Her Confession by Allan Gurganus, Daniel A. Stein, Sara O’Connor (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Lucy Marsden, 99 years old, scares and charms us as the widow of the American Civil War’s last surviving soldier. His child bride and the mother of his nine children, she now lives alone, the survivor of the survivor. By the time her story is complete, we feel the full terror and pity of the domestic life and the Civil War combined.

On the Exhale by Martín Zimmerman (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
When a senseless act of violence changes her life forever, a liberal college professor finds herself inexplicably drawn to the very weapon used to perpetrate the crime – and to the irresistible feeling of power that comes from holding life and death in her hands. Peering down the barrel of a uniquely American crisis, she begins to suspect that when it comes to gun violence, we’re all part of the problem.

Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me by Amy Trigg (UK)
(Monologues, Comedy)
Juno was born with spina bifida and is now clumsily navigating her twenties amidst street healers, love, loneliness – and the feeling of being an unfinished project. A hilarious, heart-warming tale about how shit our wonderful lives can be.

Red Hot Patriot by Margaret Engel, Allison Engel (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
The story of the unsinkable Molly Ivins, the famously brassy newspaper columnist and best-selling author. A true Texas original, Ivins was a sharp-tongued wit who skewered the political establishment and the “good ol’ boys” with her unforgettable humor and wisdom. Written by longtime journalists, the play celebrates Ivins’ courage and tenacity – even when a complacent America wasn’t listening.

Rose by Martin Sherman (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Rose is a survivor. Her remarkable life began in a tiny Russian village, took her to the Warsaw Ghetto, aboard a ship called The Exodus, and finally to the boardwalks of Atlantic City, the Arizona Canyons, and salsa-flavored nights in Miami Beach. This play is a vivid portrait of a feisty Jewish woman and a reminder of events that shaped the 20th century.

Shakespeare for My Father by Lynn Redgrave (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Family reminiscences develop into a complex, funny and moving portrait of a child’s longing for the love of the inscrutable, daunting and charismatic Shakespearean actor who was her father. Shakespeare for My Father weaves scenes from the Bard that delightfully coalesce with events in Lynn Redgrave’s young life, eliciting memories of Sir Michael and engaging impressions of the celebrated stars who frequented the Redgrave’s home and lives.

Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy)
As an ordinary English housewife prepares chips and egg for dinner, she ruminates on her life and tells the wall about her husband, her children, her past, and an invitation from a girlfriend to join her on holiday in Greece to search for romance and adventure. She escapes to Greece, has an “adventure” with a local fisherman, and decides to stay.

Taking Flight by Adriana Sevahn Nichols (US)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy)
Adriana and Rhonda are two lovable and unforgettable friends. One, searching for the goddess and her shamanic roots, the other, planning her epic wedding, until 9/11 changes everything, leaving one in a hospital bed and the other intent on doing whatever it takes to save her friend. This award-winning play takes you on a journey into the depth of friendship, the challenge of care-giving, and the resilience of the human spirit.

2009 Rattlestick Theater production of The Amish Project (Geoff Green)

The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
This fictional exploration of the real Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting in an Amish community tells the story of violence’s impact on a community, the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake.

The B*easts by Monica Dolan (UK)
(Monologues, Drama)
Tessa is a psychotherapist who has been instructed to provide a medical report on one of her patients for the criminal court. This has been Tessa’s most exceptional case in all her 20 years of practice. As treatment progresses she finds herself asking deeper, more far-reaching questions, not just about her patient, but the world and its motives.

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe by Jane Wagner (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy)
Populated with colorful, complex, hilarious characters, Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin’s brilliant show explores themes of identity, art, power and the struggles of the feminist movement in America. From Trudy, the homeless savant, to Chrissy, the vapid gym bunny, this parade of engaging and insightful character studies may be performed by one or several actresses.

The Second Coming of Joan of Arc by Carolyn Gage (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
Joan of Arc is the most thoroughly documented figure of the 15th century. So, why do the myths about the simple-minded peasant girl still pervade the history books? In The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, Joan returns to share her story with contemporary women. She tells her experiences with the highest levels of church, state and military, and unmasks the brutal misogyny behind male institutions.

The Way She Spoke by Isaac Gómez (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
This haunting play travels from a New York stage to the treacherous streets of Juárez, Mexico, where thousands of women have been murdered in an epidemic of violence that has yet to stop. Based on the writer’s intimate interviews, the play is a riveting exploration of responsibility: one playwright’s journey to give voice to a city of women silenced by violence.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama)
In this dramatic adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir, Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful one-woman play.

Wild Horses by Allison Gregory (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy)
A savagely funny play about a threshold summer that forever alters an adolescent girl, as portrayed by her grown-up self. The pathos and hubris of teenage years, the struggle for identity, independence and authenticity, and the desire to find your place in a complicated world — it all come rushing at us as she takes us on the ride of her life.

Looking for more? Explore our collection of One-Woman shows or visit the Concord Theatricals website in the US or UK.

Header image: 2020 Manhattan Theatre Club production of My Name is Lucy Barton (Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)