Steve DiGioia

Kate Berlant Confused by Her Personality for Her Show and Other Experiences

Solo shows are considered as one of the most unique and amazing pieces of art in theatre, however, these shows come with their limitations.


Comedian Kate Berlant, a solo show artist, has experienced both sides of doing solo shows in her one-woman show known as “Kate.” Bo Burnham directs it and has played in New York and London and is currently in the Pasadena Playhouse.


The Show

Before she starts the show, she makes sure the audience is in the mood with black and white photos of her in various poses all over the theatre, which helps the audience to get the content of the show.

Her show is about herself, about the journey of her acting and comedy. Kate plays various roles in her one-woman show, detailing the various struggles and victories she has achieved in her career.

The highlight of her show is her focus on her inability to express emotions well on camera and a personal secret she reveals to the audience after keeping it hidden from everyone.


No matter how the show might turn out, it always makes sense to the audience whether they know her or not. Solo shows are not her only appearance on camera, she has worked in “Don’t Worry Darling” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Not only that, but she was also nominated for an Emmy for “Would It Kill You To Laugh?”, A24/Peacock comedy special, beside John Early.


Her Experiences

In her show as well as her stand-up, Kate has jokingly talked about her personality which leaves the question of how much an artist shows their true self on the stage. Kate says that even though standup is the person’s originality, it still is a character played on the stage.

This concept of knowing but not knowing oneself is a continuous battle for her as it questions a person’s identity and truthfulness. She says she can best represent herself on her podcast, “Poog with Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak,” as she does not have to face a camera directly. 

She believes in identifying one’s true self while being the funniest of all which comes with the difficulty of feeling unfamiliar with oneself and sometimes the theatre itself.

Kate’s solo shows always revolve around herself and the specific version she wants to portray which resonates with the audience but also confuses her. 

While writing down the show, she shared instances where she could not differentiate between the present Kate and the one she wanted to portray. 

It is a challenge for her to do a one-woman show which sometimes turns into two shows a day. These are the moments where she feels like giving up, but she is grateful for the art she performs, even after the whole script is written down, things might take a wrong turn during the show which keeps her engaged in entertaining the audience.


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