United Solo Celebrates Its Sixth Season, James Lecesne Accepts Special Award
- The festival concluded a ten-week season, with 150 productions invited to perform
- Award winners were announced during the closing ceremony at Theatre Row on 42nd St, NYC
- Submissions are open for artists interested in performing in 2016
The ten-week run of the United Solo Festival, featuring 150 productions from six continents, concluded on Sunday, November 22 at Theatre Row in New York, where the festival is a resident company. Beginning with its opening night on September 17, United Solo presented between two and five shows every day, in a vast array of categories. Over 80 of the shows were sold out, and nearly 30 were presented in the ENCORE program, which features companies returning to the festival after successful performances in previous years.
Omar Sangare, the founder and artistic director of the festival, presented the United Solo Special Award to James Lecesne, in recognition of major contributions to the solo art form. Mr. Lecesne accepted the award with words of encouragement for solo performers: "I really applaud you all for using your voice, speaking out, and telling your stories, it’s the greatest thing you can do in your life. Thank you so much for this honor." James Lecesne joins previous recipients of this award: Anna Deavere Smith, Patti LuPone, John Leguizamo, Fiona Shaw, and Billy Crystal.
Festival participants competed for awards in various categories. The full list of winners of the 2015 United Solo Theatre Festival includes:
Best Production for "Uncle Philip’s Coat" by Matty Selman, directed by David Spital
Best Direction for Risa Brainin for "That Wonder Boy"
Best One-Man Show for "That Wonder Boy" by Bob Stromberg
Best One-Woman Show for "One Funny Mother: I’m Not Crazy!!" by Dena Blizzard
Best Encore for "Beyond Words" by Bill Bowers, directed by Scott Illingworth
The United Solo & Backstage Audience Award* for "That Wonder Boy" by Bob Stromberg
Best Actor for Alfredo Tauste in "The last call. A micro-play from a story by Jean Cocteau"
Best Actress for Anna Bridgforth in "The Good Adoptee"
Best Comedian for Joe Gulla in "Daddy"
Best Storyteller for Shaun O’Hagan in "It’s Later Than I Think"
Best International Show for "Marilyn-After" performed by Nonnie Griffin
Best Drama for "Do You Know Me?" performed by Mina Samuels
Best Comedy for "Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions" performed by Suzanna Geraghty
Best Musical for "RACHEL CALOF: A MEMOIR WITH MUSIC" performed by Kate Fuglei
Best Documentary Show for "Tiananmen Annie" performed by Ann Starbuck
Best Biographical Show for "Oh Sarah!" performed by Edith Acker
Best Autobiographical Show for "Smoker" performed by Bob Brader
Best Physical Theatre Show for "Butoh Medea" performed by Yokko
Best Period Piece for "Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes" performed by Johnson Flucker
Best Satire for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – retold by Jonathan Kruk"
Best Stand-Up for "Chasing Ballerinas: A Coming of Gay Story" performed by Quinn Marcus
Best Poetry Show for "Namely Muscles" performed by Claire Porter
Best Experimental Show for "Jeremiah’s Tuesday" created by Stefan Mrowinski & Steven Kennedy
Best Non-Fiction Show for "3 MEN" performed by Mike Folie
Best Avant-Garde Show for "Oh My Goddess!" performed by Sherry Glaser
Best Educational Show for "She Gon’ Learn" performed by Lisa Strum
Best Dramatic Script for "Move on the Cha-Cha’s" written and performed by Diane Ripstein
Best Comedic Script for "It’s About Time" written and performed by Steve Belanger
Best Adaptation for "Angry Conversations With God" written and performed by Susan E Isaacs
Best Non-Fiction Script for "The Miracle of Long Johns" written and performed by David Lefkowitz
Best Documentary Script for "Marília" written and performed by Rogério M. Pinto
Best Biographical Script for "BRIGHT SWORDS" written by Rick Creese, performed by Ryan Vincent Anderson
Best Storytelling Script for "All Aboard" written and performed by Tulis McCall
Best Autobiographical Script for "The Good Adoptee" written by Suzanne Bachner, performed by Anna Bridgforth
Best Premiere for "YEAH, THAT HAPPENED" written and performed by Nic Rafello
Best Emerging Actor for Clyde Engle in "Don’t Cry for Me Banks of Wall Street"
Best Emerging Actress for April Dae Rochon in "I’mma Do Me"
Best Festival Debut for "Clipping In" performed by Terrence S. Gray
Best Choreography for "Wolf Red" performed by Elinor Randle, directed by Yorgos Karamalegos
Best Sound Design for "Behind the Random Denominator" created by Mart Sander
Best Lighting Design for "The last call" created by Alfredo Tauste & Rafael Abolafia
United Solo is the world’s largest solo theatre festival, and has presented over 600 shows in its six years’ history. A number of scripts presented at the festival will be published and included in a special collection of Indie Theater Now, an online library for contemporary plays. Selected performers will also be invited to perform at the 2016 United Solo Europe, an annual showcase overseas, represented at the awards ceremony by Jakub Biegaj, the Managing Director of Theatre Syrena.
The festival community supports performing artists in need by fundraising for The Actors Fund throughout the season. Two thousand four hundred and twenty dollars have been donated this year and will help the organization fulfill its mission.
Artists who would like to participate in the United Solo Theatre Festival next year can already submit their applications. Detailed information is available at www.unitedsolo.org
*The winner of the Audience Award was chosen in an online poll, presented in partnership between United Solo and Backstage Magazine.