Gustav Gauntlett's HOOPS Takes Top Honor at Downtown Urban Theater Festival

Gustav Gauntlett's HOOPS Takes Top Honor at Downtown Urban Theater Festival

Hoops, written by Brooklyn-based Gustav Gauntlett, won BEST PLAY at the 12th Annual Season of the Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF). The festival ran from April 2-19, 2014 at HERE Mainstage in SoHo, NYC and featured 17 plays written by some of America's best emerging writers and theatrical visionaries from California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as an international dance theater work from Romania.

The complete list of honored plays include:

BEST PLAY CATEGORY
Winner - Hoops by Gustav Gauntlett
Performed by Gustav Gauntlett
Directed by Jordan Mahome
Sound operated by Brent Knight

Second Place - The Messiah Complex by Nia Witherspoon
Third Place (Tie) - Brooklyn Quartet by Rock Wilk and Two of Us by Paul Cosma Cimpoieru and Ana Pepine

BEST SHORT CATEGORY
Winner - Blank Canvas by Christina Quintana
Second Place - Five-Sided Triangle by Gina Femia
Third Place - Women at the Well by Martyna Majok

AUDIENCE AWARD
Winner - The Messiah Complex by Nia Witherspoon

Gustav Gauntlett is a Sunset Park, Brooklyn community member, playwright, and teaching artist. His past productions include Big Apple Turns to Cider and Mama Nature: A Hip Hop Musical. His acting credits include In the Cypher, Sound is Vibration, Across the Platform and Tipping the Playpen.

In 2001, DUTF was founded with the purpose to build a repertoire of new American theatre that echoes the true spirit of urban life and speaks to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. That purpose has been realized many times over, as more than 100 writers have created and refined their work for the stage and thousands of inspired audience members have applauded their performances. DUTF inaugurated the festival in 2002 at HERE in SoHo to help revitalize the NYC downtown arts scene, which, at the time, was experiencing a severe downturn due to the WTC disaster. It has been recognized as "one of the world's best festivals for new works" and described as "not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves." (Lisa Mulcahy, Theater Festivals, Allworth Press, 2005)

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