Inside the Solo Fest provides behind-the-scenes interviews with each of our featured artists in the 2nd annual PlayGround Solo Performance Festival, running through February 10 at Potrero Stage. In this issue, we introduce Fred Pitts, who performs his one-person show, THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS AND RACE TOUR, tonight, February 3 at 7pm.

Fred Pitts is a San Francisco-based actor. He is a company member of African-American Shakespeare and Custom Made Theatre companies. This is his first attempt at writing and performing a solo piece. He was an Emergency Medicine doctor for 18 years. He’s now in recovery from that job.

What’s your show about?

It’s about my journey to visit all 21 California Missions and continually being identified as random famous (and not famous) black people.

How would you describe your performance style?

I don’t have a style that I know of. This is my first solo piece, so I guess I’d say I just talk to people.

What can audiences expect with your show?

To learn tidbits about the Missions and walk in the shoes of an African-American male.

Why solo performance? What’s special about this art form and how does it serve the work you do?

I’m an actor. Not a solo artist. This field is scary. As an actor, you work with others. Here, you fly solo. It’s your work. End. Terrifying. I have a new level of respect for those who do this all the time. Solo performance for this story just seemed appropriate.

If you weren’t doing solo performance, you’d be…

On stage with other cast mates.

Catch Fred Pitts in THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS AND RACE TOUR, February 3 at 7pm. For more information and tickets, visit