Dallas — For music fans, take a look at Ryan Adam Well’s storytelling piece with songs: Beers about Songs. The Houston native has a background in comedy and music, but this is his first original solo work. It premieres Friday night at the third annual Dallas Solo Fest.
What is Beers about Songs about?
The show is a musical storytelling piece filled with original songs of mine about drinking and relationships. I play with the themes of addiction and loss of control, so switching the phrase "songs about beers" around to "beers about songs" made an hilarious kind of sense to me, and also is indicative of the humor inherent in some of the stories.
How long have you been creating solo shows?
This is my first completely solo original show. I've been touring with the comedy troupe Sound & Fury for several years now, performing around 10 original shows, and have started writing and producing my own pieces in tandem. I just finished a run of this show at two festivals in Australia, where it was critically acclaimed and received amazing reviews and responses.
I'm not a complete stranger to solo work though, as I've been a traveling musician for around 15 years, and also performed a run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 2007.
If this is your first original one person show, what’s your background in theater and performing?
I've been acting, singing, and writing quite literally since the moment I could speak in full sentences. I've studied and taught improv comedy for 16 years, I have a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Indiana University. I've led Shakespeare Summer Camps for children, performed in around 50 musicals, dramas and original pieces, and have, for the past six years, been traveling the world performing at theater festivals and small towns from rural Australia to Edinburgh, Scotland. I currently work as a writer/director/emcee at Prohibition Supperclub in Houston, where we put on several different burlesque, vaudeville and murder mystery productions throughout the year.
What are you developing for the future?
I'm actually working on a companion piece to this show that tells another side of the story, centered around a cross-country roadtrip I took with a friend.
I'm also in the beginning stages of writing a piece about comic books, and a dramatic, full-length play dealing with how we're cultured to deal with loss.
Whose work inspires you?
In theater I find myself enormously inspired by my own peers. It's easy to look to Broadway productions and legendary playwrights (my two biggest influences are probably Shakespeare and Chekhov), but seeing other struggling artist pull up their bootstraps and churn out remarkable, moving, powerful work is the most inspirational thing in the world to me. Check out some artists like Martin Dockery, Jon Bennett, Penny Ashton, Die Roten Punkte, Peter Aguero...I could literally go on and on and on listing all the amazing artists just waiting for you to discover them on the fringes of professional theater. Everyone should do themselves a favor and seek out lesser known artists, because there's an entire world of truth and beauty that's hiding right under your nose.
» Beers About Songs is performed on the following days
- 10:30pm | Friday, June 3
- 9pm | Saturday, June 4
- 7pm | Sunday, June 5
» Click here to see our listing for Beers About Songs
» To see a full schedule of shows, go here
» See our DSF special section for more interviews, reviews and more