Best One-Man-Band Theater - 2009
Since the 1980s, San Francisco has been a hive for solo performance. Thanks to the ruggedly individualistic local landscape and opportunities provided by the likes of the Climate Theater, the Exit Theatre, and the sadly defunct Solo Mio Festival, the Bay Area has played an instrumental role in forging the careers of such renowned theatrical loners as Josh Kornbluth, Marga Gomez, and Eric Bogosian. At the center of these go-it-alone theater activities towers the Marsh. Since it was founded by artistic director Stephanie Wiseman in 1989 as a place for writers and performers to develop new work, the Mission-based venue has helped to birth an astounding number of memorable solo productions. Works by veteran performers like Charlie Varon (Rush Limbaugh in Night School, Rabbi Sam) and up-and-comers like Dan Hoyle (Tings Dey Happen) have gone on to glory in New York. Meanwhile, Brian Copeland's Marsh-developed Not a Genuine Black Man is, at 5 years old, the longest-running one-man show in San Francisco history.