Hailey Henderson’s one-woman show deals with serious issues, but she doesn’t want that to scare you off.
“It’s funny! It’s a dark comedy,” says Henderson. “Blackout: A One Woman Show,” is an autobiographical tale that involves sexual and emotional abuse and explores the cost of blending in to survive.
“It’s certainly not exclusively a comedy,” she says, “but it’s got lightness and hope and humor.”
In March of 2020, she developed the performance as part of her studies at the University of Washington. When the pandemic curtailed live performances, Henderson adapted the piece to be live-streamed from her porch in Seattle as part of the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival.
This summer, Henderson has taken “Blackout” on tour to a series of West Coast venues, culminating with a pair of performances in Moab’s Star Theater on Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14.
“I grew up in Moab and I’m a very, very proud native,” says Henderson, who began her career on stage as a child in the now-defunct Moab Repertory Theater under Eve Passeltiner. Henderson recalled the pleasure of seeing adults involved in the theater doing creative performances and noted that several members of the company, including Doni Kiffmeyer, have remained active in the community and are pitching in to help on her show.
“It’s really cool to tap into the pulse of the Moab Rep and the history of creative storytellers in Moab that are just waiting to come out again,” Henderson said. “I’m ending my tour in Moab because I believe that the town deserves quality art.”
After leaving Moab at 18, Henderson has performed with theatres in Buenos Aires, Eugene and Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, where she earned her MFA in Acting from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington.
“Blackout: A One Woman Show” is an intensely personal piece and draws from Henderson’s real-life experiences, but she notes that there is much for audiences to connect with.
“This play is about a journey back into the light after hiding,” she said. “I wanted to take it on the road because we’ve all been in hiding - COVID has been hard on everyone. It’s so important to let art bring us back together.”
“I wanted to bring this piece to all the places I’ve called home, to reintroduce my true self,” she said. “My hope is by doing that I can reach people that feel alone and encourage them to reconnect and share their authentic selves with their communities.”
More information about Hailey Henderson and the Blackout Tour can be found at www.haileyhenderson.com.
What: “Blackout: A One Woman Show”
When: Friday, Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Star Hall (159 E. Center Street, Moab)
Tickets are $15, advance tickets are available at Back of Beyond Books (83 N. Main Street, Moab)