United Solo, the world's largest solo theatre festival, capped off its five-week season with a closing ceremony on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at Theatre ROW on 42nd Street in New York City. A crowd of solo artists, special guests, festival staff, and contributors packed into the theatre to commemorate seventy-seven productions featured this fall. Numerous artists were recognized for their brilliant solo performances.
Omar Sangare, the founder and artistic director of the festival, presented the annual "uAward" honoring an outstanding solo performer to Patti LuPone for her performance in "The Gypsy In My Soul." In her acceptance remarks, LuPone expressed her warm gratitude to director Scott Wittman and musical director Joseph Thalken. LuPone concluded, "It is always a wonderful thing to win an award, but when it comes so unexpectedly and from such an eclectic and international group of artists as the Academy of United Solo, it’s even more so."
Bill Bowers, the host of the closing ceremony and a member of the United Solo Academy, announced the other award winners, who were selected from a diverse pool of artists representing eleven countries.
The 2011 United Solo Awards went to:
Best Production for Haley McGee in "OH MY IRMA"
Best One-Man Show for Mark Gindick in "Wing-Man"
Best One-Woman Show for Marilyn Pittman in "It’s All The Rage"
Best Directing for Austin Pendleton directing Judy Rosenblatt in "Woman Before a Glass"
Best Actor for Anthony Nikolchev in "Look, What I Don’t Understand"
Best Actress for Wioleta Komar in "DIVA"
Best Comedian for Nancy Redman in "CLUTTER: I’m Saving My Life and It’s Killing Me"
Best Storyteller for Antonio Sacre in "The Next Best Thing"
Best One-Man Comedy for Tim Intravia in "From Busk Til Dawn"
Best One-Woman Comedy for Annie Worden in "Misadventures in the Art of Movie Making"
Best International Show for "Patty Diphusa" by Pedro Almodovar starring Ewa Kasprzyk
Best Musical for Trent Armand Kendall in "PICTURE INCOMPLETE, a one man musical"
Best Concert for Rita Costanzi in "A Score to Settle"
Best Script for Hal Ackerman in "Prick"
Best Adaptation for Glen Williamson in "Beat the Devil! (Faust, the Whole Story)"
Best Short Solo for Donald Molosi in "Blue, Black and White"
Best Costume for Sylvia Milo in "Mozart's Sister"
Best Performer Debut for Helyn Rain Messenger in "In a Relationship"
Audience Award for Suzanna Geraghty in "Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions"
The festival has garnered a renowned reputation upon its profound growth in popularity. This season, nineteen shows were sold out. The audiences featured numerous celebrities, including four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason and Anthony Rapp, who is known for his Broadway production of "Rent."
United Solo has been praised for its cordial fundraising efforts on behalf of the Actors Fund, an organization that supports entertainment professionals in need. The festival also collaborates with the Dramatist Guild and Indie Theatre Now, the digital theatre library for the 21st century. As it expands these initiatives, United Solo builds a community of solo enthusiasts and provides New York City with a worldwide selection of high quality performances.