The 2013 United Solo AWARDS Have Been Announced

The fourth annual United Solo Theatre Festival concluded its run on November 24, 2013 at Theatre Row on 42nd Street in New York City. An awards ceremony was held that night, following the eight-week-long lineup of the world’s largest solo theatre festival, which offered more than 120 productions this season.
Fiona Shaw was present at the event to accept the 2013 United Solo Special Award, as recognition for her outstanding achievements in the art of solo performance, and for promoting this theatrical form to both local and international audiences. Deborah Warner, the director of Ms. Shaw’s solo performance The Testament of Mary, joined the ceremony as well. After receiving the award from the artistic director of the United Solo Festival, Omar Sangare, Fiona Shaw shared her gratitude and inspiring remarks with performers, guests, the festival team, and press gathered at the ceremony. Commenting on solo performances as a genre, Ms. Shaw said “They are concertos and the audience is the orchestra, as much as anything else.”

The Festival opened on October 3 and presented from two to five shows every night, in categories ranging from drama, comedy, and storytelling to stand-up, avant-garde, and mime. Twenty of the shows were special Encore performances by artists who brought successful performances to United Solo in the past. This year’s participants came from 23 countries and six continents, competing for an array of awards. The winners are listed below:
Best Production for Robert Frost: This Verse Business by A. M. Dolan, performed by Gordon Clapp
Best Direction for Eliza Roberts and Eric Roberts for Beneath My Fathers’ Sky by Zara Phillips
Best Encore for Longing for Grace by Grace Kiley, directed by Austin Pendleton
Best One-Man Show for 7th and 11th Dimensions by Brian Luna
Best One-Woman Show for Juana in a Million by Vicky Araico Casas
Best Actor for Jim Shankman in Kiss Your Brutal Hands
Best Actress for Maura Halloran in Pussy
Best Comedian for Steve Mize in Life, Audited
Best Storyteller for Elise Forier Edie in The Pink Unicorn
Best Clown for Kirk Marsh in TOAST
Best Mime for Makoto Inoue in Richard
Best International Show for Hamlet: A Stand Up by Roger Westberg
Best Drama for ERIC(A) with Teresa Sanderson
Best Musical for Diva! by Sean Patrick Monahan
Best Avant-Garde Show for Hazards by Mina Samuels
Best Period Piece for Solemn Mockeries with David Melville
Best Variety Show for The Great Goddess Bazaar with Tammy Meneghini
Best Stand-Up for Made in Puerto Rico by Elizardi Castro
Best Multimedia for BIO-HAZARD: a relative comedy by Sarah Elizabeth Greer
Best Cabaret for Hey, Piano Bar Lady! by Linn Lorkin
Best Experimental Piece for poetry about how difficult it is to be in your twenties by Julian Goldhagen
Best Magic Show for Waiting for Hitchcock with Robert Jägerhorn
Best Puppetry for A Life in Her Day by Hilary Chaplain
Best Educational Piece for THE SCRIPT by Tim Collins
Best Documentary for The Bark & The Tree by Vivian Nesbitt
Best Dramatic Script for Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter by Alison Wearing
Best Comedic Script for Blood Type: RAGU by Frank Ingrasciotta
Best Non-Fiction Script for DARK STARS written by Arthur Meek and performed by Jonathan Council
Best Satirical Script for Sublimity by David Bridel
Best Documentary Script for MAGDALEN by Erin Layton
Best Adaptation for Mica’s Skin by Ana Asensio, Paloma Bravo, and Jean Randich
Most Popular Show for The Bronx Queen by Joe Gulla, directed by Brian Rardin
Best Premiere for Leading Men by Blake Walton, directed by Ann Morrison
Best Short Solo for Preacher Man by Jesse LaVercombe, directed by Adam Lazarus
Best Emerging Artist for Deb Radloff in Mother Knows Best
Best Lighting Design for Karen Perlow, The Bark & The Tree, performed by Vivian Nesbitt
Best Sound Design for Jörgen Aggeklint, Hamlet: A Stand Up, performed by Roger Westberg
Best Costume Design for Kirsty Cameron, On the Upside Down of the World, performed by Laurel Devenie
Best in Social Networking for Michael’s Daughter by Ciera Payton
First Sold-Out Show for Mrs. Kemble’s Tempest, performed by Jane Ridley
Audience Award for Diva! performed by Sean Patrick Monahan
This year, the Festival gained even more popularity, with sixty-three sold-out shows, and extensive coverage in the press and social media. The mission of United Solo also includes public service to the broader theatre community. Each year, donations are collected for The Actors Fund.
“We are tremendously grateful to the producers of this year’s United Solo Festival and their audiences. Their donations will help in preventing evictions, securing medical care, putting food on the table and meeting many other needs of our colleagues who are facing difficult times” – said The Actors Fund CEO, Joseph Benincasa. David Engelman, Communications Director of The Actors Fund, was present at the Closing Ceremony to accept the check of one thousand four hundred and twenty dollars for donations collected at the Festival.
The best scripts presented at this year’s United Solo will be included in a special collection at Indie Theater Now, a digital library of theatrical plays. Submissions for the next year’s United Solo will be announced early next year at the festival’s website:

photo by Christine Butler