Welcome to award-winning SoloChicago Theatre Company, Chicago’s only Equity production company specializing in one-person plays and musicals. Our mission of is to develop, encourage, and celebrate solo theatrical performance and work that embodies the spirit of the individual artist. We aspire to create, at the highest professional level, a body of work that is worthy of the pride that we have in Chicago Style Theatre. Our process to achieve this level, that we call “SoloChicago-ization”, will enable us to develop work worthy of national recognition.
We at SoloChicago are working hard on our number one job: BECOMING. We know we aren’t the only ones in the solo show business. We didn’t set out to be a “me too” theatre company. We will dig deeper and reach higher. We will tell stories that need to be heard by the people who need to tell them.
SoloChicago’s inaugural production, CHURCHILL was created and performed by founder, Ronald Keaton and directed by Artistic Director, Kurt Johns. Churchill played the Greenhouse Theatre Center to multiple extensions and sold-out houses, consequently opened a successful, extended run Off-Broadway at the Shubert-Owned New World Stages before coming back to Chicago for a return engagement. Now we are concentrating on making it possible for the rest of the nation to see CHURCHILL with multiple bookings around the country.
Our production, The Unfortunates played Theater Wit in June of 2016. It is a challenging solo play with a strong actor and a strong character at the helm. In it Gail Rastorfer as Mary Jane Kelly tells her own story of survival and friendship, not the story of her more famous murderer. Mary Jane is not a victim here but a vibrant, smart, and passionate human being who stands up through tremendous hardship.
We look forward to collaborating with other companies and artists and further developing the art and craft of solo performing.
has been involved in the theatre for over 40 years. He took up professional residence in Chicago in 1987, his first area bow being in 1776 at the Marriott Theatre nearly 30 years ago. He has appeared on many Chicago-area stages – Goodman Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, First Folio Theatre, Theater At The Center, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Theatre At The Center, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Porchlight Music Theatre, Mercury Theatre, to name a few. Regional theatres include Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Alley Theatre in Houston, and the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami.
Ronald has also been a stage manager, a director, a playwright, a fundraiser, a lyricist and composer, and a singer at jazz and cabaret venues around Chicago. Keaton has a solo musical in the wings, WHISPERS FROM THE MOON, as well as an adaptation of the novel THE LAST HURRAH, both created in collaboration with Chicago composer/lyricist William Underwood, music director here at TATC.
And now Keaton is learning the producer’s trade through SoloChicago Theatre, as the critically acclaimed production of Churchill prepares for potential future bookings. He presently has two scripts in development for other performers. And in the midst of all this, Ronald Keaton remains a proud member of and elected representative to the Central Regional Board of Actor’s Equity Association
Kurt is proud to be SoloChicago’s Producing Artistic Director having directed SCT’s inaugural project CHURCHILL and most recently directed our second production, the critically acclaimed THE UNFORTUNATES. Kurt recently directed the Midwest premiere of LYSISTRATA JONES at Chicago College of Performing Arts Theatre Conservatory. Kurt directed the Apple Tree Theatre’s highly acclaimed and multi award nominated production of THE MISTRESS CYCLE at the Auditorium Theatre. Also at Apple Tree Theatre, where he served as producer, Kurt directed PEN, the critically acclaimed IRON, the popular TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE, and VINCENT IN BRIXTON, which received After Dark Awards for direction, lead actor, and production of a play. Kurt enjoyed directing IOLANTHE at Light Opera Works in Evanston, where he also directed BERLIN TO BROADWAY.
As an actor, Kurt appeared in the Broadway productions of CHESS and ASPECTS OF LOVE. He portrayed Enjolras in the First National Tour of LES MISERABLES. Here’s in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre, Kurt appeared in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE and SHE ALWAYS SAID PABLO. He played Hildy in WINDY CITY (Jeff nominated), Baron Felix in GRAND HOTEL, Che in EVITA, Rutledge in 1776, and Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre. Kurt received a Jeff Award for his work GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING at the Drury Lane Theatre. Kurt enjoyed performing Booth in Apple Tree’s ASSASSINS (Jeff Nominated). For more information please visit kurtjohns.com