The 2019 United Solo AWARDS Have Been Announced

After a run of ten weeks that presented 120 one-person theatre productions from six continents, the world’s largest solo theatre festival concluded its tenth season at Theatre Row on 42nd Street in New York by presenting this year’s awards. On behalf of the United Solo Academy, Dr. Omar Sangare, the artistic director of the festival, presented the United Solo Special Award to Aasif Mandvi for his performance in “Sakina’s Restaurant” In his acceptance speech, Mr. Mandvi said: “Thank you so much to United Solo for this tremendous honor. And congratulations to all the solo performers who have had their shows showcased in the United Solo Festival. Solo shows are not easy, if all live theatre is performance without a safety net, a solo show is even more so. It’s like walking a tight rope suspended high above the ground without a safety net. I commend all of you for choosing this particularly courageous and vulnerable form of artistic expression, and I commend the United Solo team for highlighting it.”

 

 

In addition to the Special Award, the festival presented awards to its participants in categories such as Best One-Man and One-Woman Show, Best Direction, Best Actor and Actress, as well as the Backstage and United Solo Audience Award, chosen in an online popular vote. All About Solo presented its Critics’ Choice Award, selected by the staff writers of that online publication.
 
The festival, whose season began on September 19, offered a robust selection of performances in many categories, such as drama, comedy, stand‑up, musical theatre, dance, and performance art, among others. Fifty shows sold out and received additional performance dates by popular demand. Thirty shows were presented in a special THE BEST OF category, which featured work by artists and companies returning to United Solo after winning awards in the past.
 
In its tenth season, United Solo has once again supported members of the performing arts community by fundraising for The Actors Fund, which helps professionals during times of transition. “Thank you to everyone at United Solo who has supported The Actors Fund with audience appeals over these past 10 years and collectively raised over $14,000 to help those in need in our community,” said Joseph P. Benincasa, President & CEO of The Actors Fund “The Fund is proud to be here to offer services that foster stability and resiliency and serve as a safety net over the lifespan of everyone who works in performing arts and entertainment, including the solo artists and creative teams of United Solo.”
 
As this year’s season ends, the festival is already in the process of collecting submissions for 2020, for festivals both: United Solo LONDON and United Solo NEW YORK. Artists and companies interested in applying can find more information on the festival’s website: www.unitedsolo.org/submit
 
The full list of award winners at the 2019 United Solo Festival includes:
 
United Solo Special Award: Aasif Mandvi in “Sakina’s Restaurant”
 
Best One-Woman Show: “Seeing Stars” performed by Ellen Gould
Best One-Man Show: “An Evening with Tennessee Williams” performed by Sebastian Galvez
The United Solo & Backstage Audience Award: “The Book of Mamaw” performed by Eugene Wolf
Best Direction: Kathleen Butler, “Seeing Stars”
Best Actress: Connie Winston in “American Captives: Lena Baker and Sandra Bland”
Best Actor: Edward Asner in “A Man and His Prostate”
 
Best Storyteller: Evan Handler in “Time On Fire: A Comedy of Terrors (Redux)”
Best Comedian: Debbie Kasper in “Has Anybody Seen Debbie?”
Best Encore: “JO (Not Just Mrs. Edward Hopper)” performed by Pippa White
Best International Show: “54 Silhouettes” performed by Charles Etubiebi
 
Best Musical: “My Life: The Musical Version” performed by Amit Gour
Best Drama: “The Asylum Project” performed by Elizabeth Mozer
Best Comedy: “The MisEducation of Ms. Freeman” performed by Alaina Freeman
Best Opera: “With Warmest Regards” performed by Lori Brown Mirabal
Best Storytelling Show: “Bo-Nita” performed by Terri Weagant
Best Non-Fiction Show: “Music Lessons” performed by Ed Napier
Best Variety Show: “Life Hacks with Miss Havisham” peformed by Jen Jurek
Best Physical Theatre: “Collecting Driftwood” performed by Susan Jacobson
Best Autobiographical One-Woman Show: “Wasbian” performed by Susan Ward
Best Autobiographical One-Man Show: “A Bunch of Different Ways I’d Like to Die” performed by Tim McDonough
Best Experimental Show: “La Sangre” performed by Will Atkins
Best Documentary One-Woman Show: “Equally Divine: The Real Story of the Mona Lisa” performed by Jenny Lyn Bader
Best Documentary One-Man Show: “The Things They Carried” performed by Jim Stowell
Best Educational Show: “400 Years in Manhattan” performed by Noah Diamond
Best Multi-Media Show: “Divining Bernhardt” performed by Bridget Kelly
Best Satire: “Kafka’s Ape” performed by Bonani Miyambo
 
Best Script: “Warm Cheese” written and performed by Teresa Thome
Best Adaptation: “In Order to Sleep Peacefully: An Adaptation of Alfred de Musset’s ‘Lorenzaccio’” by Patric Madden
 
All About Solo Critics’ Award: “Inheritance: A Litany” performed by Janis Brenner
 
Best Premiere: “Her Downstairs” performed by Sherill Turner
Best Emerging Actress: Lindsey Normington in “Figurehead”
Best Emerging Actor: Oscar Emmanuel Fabela in “Don Carlos: Prince of Asturias”
Best Festival Debut: Stephanie Everett in “It’s Fine, I’m Fine.”
 

 
*The winner of the 2019 All About Solo Critics’ Award was chosen by the staff writers of www.allaboutsolo.com
**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 eighty theatre professionals, including The United Solo Academy Members