November 25, 2014
Last night, the 5th anniversary United Solo festival wrapped up in signature high style with a closing ceremony that was fun, classy, inclusive, and warm-hearted. Some 43 awards were presented, showcasing some of the highlights of this year's festival, which all together ran for more than 2 months at Theater Row Studio Theater and featured 130 different solo shows from six continents! Rochelle and I were honored to be among the presenters; we handed out citations to nine different playwrights whose work was recognized in as many writing categories.
Indie Theater Now and United Solo have had a close relationship since the festival launched in 2010. The festival's artistic director Omar Sangare has curated three play collections, bringing some of the festival's finest and most interesting scripts to ITN's audience. (You can find links to these collections, which together contain 58 plays, here.) Omar announced last night that a 2014 collection is in the offing; we can't wait to learn his selections!
Two Indie Theater Now alumni received awards last night. Nancy Redman was named "Best Comedian" for her show The Doctor is NOT In. And Bob Brader won "Best Encore" for Spitting in the Face of the Devil. I've seen both of their shows: they deserve the accolades!
Another winner last night is perhaps somewhat more prominent: Billy Crystal received the United Solo Special Award for 700 Sundays. He was not able to attend the festivities, but he sent a delightful video in thanks.
Last night's ceremony was co-hosted by Erin Layton and Brian Luna (both ITN playwrights) and among the presenters were several more ITN alums: Ana Ascensio, Glen Williamson, Rory Lance, Vivian Nesbitt, and of course Omar himself. Sean Patrick Monahan had the strenuous job of picking up certificates for those unable to be present at the event. And in the house were more ITN playwrights: Blake Walton, Ann Morrison, Zack Calhoon, Scott Klavan, and Suzanne Bachner (who is in the photo with Bob Brader; she directed Spitting in the Face of the Devil). (If I've left anyone out, please forgive me!)