United Solo Concludes Its 7th Season in New York with high success!
More than one hundred solo performers, festival supporters, special guests, and members of the theatre community took part in the United Solo Closing Gala. This event concluded the world’s largest solo theatre festival’s seventh season on November 20, 2016 at Theatre Row in New York City. During its ten-week run, the festival presented productions from twenty countries and six continents. The best shows in each category were recognized with awards at the Gala, and the winner of the United Solo Special Award was announced as well.
Staceyann Chin won the Special Award for her performance in "MotherStruck!" directed by Cynthia Nixon. The show has been praised for its outstanding staging and meaningful story performed with sensitivity, audacity, and wisdom. "The real world is the world you find inside of these stories that speak from the margins. So it is on us, it is incumbent on us, and our pens, and our mouths, and our bodies, whatever medium you choose to tell this story," said Ms. Chin in her acceptance speech. "I wanted to express my joy and gratitude. We had such an amazing time working on it. It’s a piece that we’re so proud of and we’re just thrilled to pieces that you loved it, too," said the director of "MotherStruck!" Cynthia Nixon. She added: "Solo theatre is uniquely difficult. When you see the show that really works, it makes you think, ‘Oh I could do that, I could tell my story,’ but it is deceptively difficult. A solo show requires a particular kind of confidence, because you are all alone out there.”
"One-person shows are often relatively small and intimate. However, looking at all the artists gathered here tonight at the Gala, I have the joyful impression of seeing the largest theatre cast in the city," said Omar Sangare, founder and artistic director of United Solo. "This year we featured 120 solo artists, and in our seven-year history, we have presented almost 800 shows from all over the globe. This is how we build the community of solo artists and fulfill the mission of the world’s largest solo theatre festival.”
The full list of 2016 United Solo award winners includes:
Best Production for "Call Fosse At The Minskoff" by Mimi Quillin, directed by John Thomas Waite
Best Director for Joan Kane with Ego Actus Theatre Company
Best One-Man Show for "PRYOR TRUTH" by Khalil Muhammad
Best One-Woman Show for "Scheiss Book" by Liba Vaynberg
Best Encore for "3 MEN" by Mike Folie
Best Actor for Rob Gaetano in "My Pet, My Love"
Best Actress for Irene Muscara in "Gate A33"
Best Storyteller for Douglass Truth in "An Intimate Evening with Death, Herself"
The United Solo & Backstage Audience Award* for "Scheiss Book" by Liba Vaynberg
Best Drama for "A JEWISH JOKE" performed by Phil Johnson
Best Tragedy for "Myra’s Story" performed by Jennifer Cornish
Best Comedy for "Dear Diary" performed by Joy Donze
Best Storytelling Show for "A Stopping Place" performed by Stephen Powell
Best Documentary for "Who Will Sing for Lena" performed by Vanessa Adams-Harris
Best International Show for "Bassist" performed by Krzysztof Rogacewicz
Best Biographical Show for "MISS LILLIAN SPEAKS" performed by Carol Swarbrick
Best Autobiographical Show for "A Life Behind Bars" performed by Dan Ruth
Best Interactive Show for "The Creeps" performed by Catherine Waller
Best Physical Theatre Show for "Mistero Buffo" performed by Panos Vlahos
Best Variety Show for "An Unexpected Variety Show" performed by Jenny Wynter
Best Multimedia Show for "TARGET GOLDBERG" performed by David J Goldberg
Best Cabaret for "Who is Eartha Mae?" performed by Jade Wheeler
Best Spoken Word Show for "Act God" performed by Scott St. Patrick
Best Satire for "Kafka’s A HUNGER ARTIST" performed by Jonathan Isadore Levin
Best Stand-up for "ARE YOU SERIOUS? A Woman of a Certain Age Inquires" performed by Tulis McCall
Best Experimental Show for "HYENA" performed by Romana Soutus
Best Non-Fiction Show for "Children Are Forever; All Sales Are Final" performed by Julia Jackson
Best Avant-Garde Show for "THE BITTER GAME" performed by Keith A. Wallace
Best Dramatic Script for "Blanche On A Winter’s Eve" written and performed by J.P. Makowski
Best Comedic Script for "The Box Show" written and performed by Dominique Salerno
Best Adaptation for "SHREW" by Claire Anniken Tyers and Noa Egozi
Best Non-Fiction Script for "One Drop of Love" written and performed by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni
Best Storytelling Script for "Recent History" written and performed by Jarret Berenstein
Best Autobiographical Script for "Listen…Can You Hear Me Now?" written and performed by Gloria Rosen
Best Premiere for "KIM" written and performed by Daniel Burns
Best Emerging Actress for Alice Pencavel in "The Glowing Boot"
Best Emerging Actor for Stephen Humpage in "Thief"
Best Festival Debut for "About Heroes" written and performed by Juha Sorola
Best Set Design for Ann Beyersdorfer, "The Box Show" performed by Dominique Salerno
Best Lighting Design for Cecilia Durbin, "HYENA" performed by Romana Soutus
Best Sound Design for Gareth Hobbs, "HYENA" performed by Romana Soutus
Best Projection Design for Anton Iakhontov, "Natasha’s Dream" performed by Darya Denisova
Best Makeup for Stacey Stephenson, "Broken" performed by Kaili Y. Turner
First Sold-Out Show for "Shit." performed by Rosemary Cipriano
Each year, United Solo supports members of the performing arts community by fundraising for The Actors Fund. Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund, said, "On behalf of the 14,000 people we help every year, we send our thanks yet again to United Solo and the artists and audiences who gave so generously. Your donations are more important than ever and will go to help everyone in our creative community in times of need, crisis or transition." United Solo raised one thousand six hundred and eighty-seven dollars dollars in donations, and presented a check at the Gala to David Engelman, Director of Communications and Marketing of The Actors Fund.
Shows participating in the Festival have been selected from openly solicited submissions, and were presented every day starting with the opening night on September 15. The most popular shows were extended with additional dates. Solo performers interested in participating in 2017 can already submit their applications through United Solo website: unitedsolo.org/submit
*The winner of the Audience Award was chosen in an online poll, presented in partnership between United Solo and Backstage Magazine.