The 2016 United Solo AWARDS Have Been Announced

The United Solo Closing Gala 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.”
 
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.”
 

 
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/submit
 
The full list of 2016 United Solo award winners includes:
 

Best Production: “Call Fosse At The Minskoff” by Mimi Quillin, directed by John Thomas Waite
Best Director: Joan Kane with Ego Actus Theatre Company
Best One-Man Show: “PRYOR TRUTH” by Khalil Muhammad
Best One-Woman Show: “Scheiss Book” by Liba Vaynberg
Best Encore: “3 MEN” by Mike Folie
Best Actor: Rob Gaetano in “My Pet, My Love”
Best Actress: Irene Muscara in “Gate A33”
Best Storyteller: Douglass Truth in “An Intimate Evening with Death, Herself”
The United Solo & Backstage Audience Award: “Scheiss Book” by Liba Vaynberg
 
Best Drama: “A JEWISH JOKE” performed by Phil Johnson
Best Tragedy: “Myra’s Story” performed by Jennifer Cornish
Best Comedy: “Dear Diary” performed by Joy Donze
Best Storytelling Show: “A Stopping Place” performed by Stephen Powell
Best Documentary: “Who Will Sing for Lena” performed by Vanessa Adams-Harris
Best International Show: “KONTRABASISTA Bassist” performed by Krzysztof Rogacewicz
Best Biographical Show: “MISS LILLIAN SPEAKS” performed by Carol Swarbrick
Best Autobiographical Show: “A Life Behind Bars” performed by Dan Ruth
Best Interactive Show: “The Creeps” performed by Catherine Waller
Best Physical Theatre Show: “Mistero Buffo” performed by Panos Vlahos
Best Variety Show: “An Unexpected Variety Show” performed by Jenny Wynter
Best Multimedia Show: “TARGET GOLDBERG” performed by David J Goldberg
Best Cabaret: “Who is Eartha Mae?” performed by Jade Wheeler
Best Spoken Word Show: “Act God” performed by Scott St. Patrick
Best Satire: “Kafka’s A HUNGER ARTIST” performed by Jonathan Isadore Levin
Best Stand-up: “ARE YOU SERIOUS? A Woman of a Certain Age Inquires” performed by Tulis McCall
Best Experimental Show: “HYENA” performed by Romana Soutus
Best Non-Fiction Show: “Children Are Forever; All Sales Are Final” performed by Julia Jackson
Best Avant-Garde Show: “THE BITTER GAME” performed by Keith A. Wallace
 
Best Dramatic Script: “Blanche On A Winter’s Eve” written and performed by J.P. Makowski
Best Comedic Script: “The Box Show” written and performed by Dominique Salerno
Best Adaptation: “SHREW” by Claire Anniken Tyers and Noa Egozi
Best Non-Fiction Script: “One Drop of Love” written and performed by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni
Best Storytelling Script: “Recent History” written and performed by Jarret Berenstein
Best Autobiographical Script: “Listen…Can You Hear Me Now?” written and performed by Gloria Rosen
 
Best Premiere: “KIM” written and performed by Daniel Burns
Best Emerging Actress: Alice Pencavel in “The Glowing Boot”
Best Emerging Actor: Stephen Humpage in “Thief”
Best Festival Debut: Juha Sorola in “About Heroes”
 
Best Set Design: Ann Beyersdorfer, “The Box Show” performed by Dominique Salerno
Best Lighting Design: Cecilia Durbin, “HYENA” performed by Romana Soutus
Best Sound Design: Gareth Hobbs, “HYENA” performed by Romana Soutus
Best Projection Design: Anton Iakhontov, “Natasha’s Dream” performed by Darya Denisova
Best Makeup: Stacey Stephenson, “Broken” performed by Kaili Y. Turner
First Sold-Out Show: “Shit.” performed by Rosemary Cipriano

 
*The winner of the Audience Award was chosen in an online poll, presented in partnership between United Solo and Backstage Magazine.
**Winners are selected by an independent panel of over seventy theatre professionals, including The United Solo Academy Members.