ACOUSTIC SPACE, Yudelka Heyer & More Among Winners at 25th Season of Strawberry One Act Festival

ACOUSTIC SPACE, Yudelka Heyer & More Among Winners at 25th Season of Strawberry One Act Festival

Van Dirk Fisher, founder of the Riant Theatre, announces the winners of the Strawberry One-Act Festival's 25th Season, which was held February 13 - 23 and had over 25 one-act and full-length plays and films competing for awards at the Theatre at St. Clement's at 423 West 46th Street.

"We take pride in providing a nurturing environment to develop new plays with outstanding artists," said Fisher.

The Best Play Award
The Best Play Award was presented to Anthony Marinelli for "Acoustic Space." "This is the world we live in and 'Acoustic Space' is both a lament and an satiric observation of the way technology has changed the way we communicate," said Marinelli. He is the writer/director of short films "Night," "Joey's Gonna Kill Me," "Lunch Time" and "Subway," recently seen on PBS' "Reel 13." Nominations for Best Play were: "Corner Café" by Luke Younger & Tomas Delgado, "Mosquita Muerta" by Victoria Collado and "Good Morning" by Matthew Stannah.

Best Director Award
Yudelka Heyer, who was born in the Dominican Republic, earned Best Director for the play "Good Morning." She is an actor-writer-director, who is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has directed in several New York theatre companies.Nominations for Best Director were: Michelle Antelo for "Mosquita Muerta," Anthony Fusco for "Sole Mates" and John McDermott for "Mom Never Taught Us That."

Best Actress Award
Esti MacInnes, who starred in "Good Morning," graduated with a BA in American Theatre Arts from Rose Bruford College in London in 2012. She then went on to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Nominations for Best Actress were:Victoria Collado for Mosquita Muerta;" Louisa Gallanda for "Adjustments," Alison Parks for "Acoustic Space" and Chablis Quartermain for "Love Sucks."

Best Actor Award
Luke Younger, who starred in "Corner Café," written by Younger and Tomas Delgado, has appeared in over a dozen commercials, including Playstation's MLB The Show '13, Miller Lite, T-Mobile, and Dunkin' Donuts. Nominations for Best Actor were: Russell Aaronson in "Stick N Move," Joseph Cassese in "Acoustic Space," James Plysick in "Good Morning" and Tomas Rene in "With Love."

Best Short Film Award
I Can't Let Them Bitches Win," is a comedy Ryan Rodriguez about a woman trying to kill mosquitoes. Rodriguez, who holds a degree in theatre from Florida International University, is also an actor with credits like "Rentboy: The Musical." Nominations for Best Short Film were: "Hair of the Dog" by Paul Dominick, "Felt Left Out" by Uri Pavlovic, "Playing at War" by Monika Baskiewicz and "With Love" by Alexander Morrow.

Audience Choice Award
"With Love" by Alexander Morrow, who studied new media at the University of Maine and currently works as the art director for Morrow Media.

"I would like to thank Van Dirk Fisher for creating such an amazing festival that serves as a platform for young artists to show their work," said Best Director winner Heyer.

Riant Theatre has high profile alumni in television, film and stage. There's playwright Charles Higham, whose biography on Howard Hughes was the basis for Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning movie "The Aviator" starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Actress April Hernandez, who co-starred in the movie "Freedom Writers" with Hilary Swank and the hit show "Dexter." Also, actor Stanley Wayne Mathis, who has performed on Broadway in shows like "Wonderful Town" and "Jelly's Last Jam." Radio personality Goomba Johnny of WKTU acted in "A Punch in the Face" by Jeffrey Gurian at the Riant. Oscar nominee Chaz Palminteri has directed a play in the Strawberry One-Act Festival.

The Strawberry One-Act Festival has presented over 1,500 one-act plays since its inception."With the one act play, writers are forced to get to the meat of the story," explained Fisher. "They have to cut to the source in 15 or 30 minutes. Less can be more."

The Riant Theatre is now accepting applications for the next Strawberry One Act Festival to be held in August 2014. Early deadline to submit a play is April 30. For more information, visit www.therianttheatre.com.

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