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Fiona Shaw, Gordon Clapp, & Eric Roberts Among 2013 United Solo Festival Winners

The fourth annual United Solo Theatre Festival concluded its run on November 24, 2013 at Theatre Row on 42nd Street in New York City. An awards ceremony was held that night, following the eight-week-long lineup of the world's largest solo theatre festival, which offered more than 120 productions this season.

Fiona Shaw was present at the event to accept the 2013 United Solo Special Award, as recognition for her outstanding achievements in the art of solo performance, and for promoting this theatrical form to both local and international audiences.

Deborah Warner, the director of Ms. Shaw's solo performance "The Testament of Mary," joined the ceremony as well. After receiving the award from the artistic director of the United Solo Festival, Omar Sangare, Fiona Shaw shared her gratitude and inspiring remarks with performers, guests, the festival team, and press gathered at the ceremony. Commenting on solo performances as a genre, Ms. Shaw said "They are concertos and the audience is the orchestra, as much as anything else."

The Festival opened on October 3 and presented from two to five shows every night, in categories ranging from drama, comedy, and storytelling to stand-up, avant-garde, and mime. Twenty of the shows were special Encore performances by artists who brought successful performances to United Solo in the past. This year's participants came from 23 countries and six continents, competing for an array of awards.

The winners are listed below:
Best Production for "Robert Frost: This Verse Business" by A. M. Dolan, performed by Gordon Clapp
Best Direction for Eliza Roberts and Eric Roberts for "Beneath My Fathers' Sky" by Zara Phillips
Best Encore for "Longing for Grace" by Grace Kiley, directed by Austin Pendleton
Best One-Man Show for "7th and 11th Dimensions" by Brian Luna
Best One-Woman Show for "Juana in a Million" by Vicky Araico Casas
Best Actor for Jim Shankman in "Kiss Your Brutal Hands"
Best Actress for Maura Halloran in "Pussy"
Best Comedian for Steve Mize in "Life, Audited"
Best Storyteller for Elise Forier Edie in "The Pink Unicorn"
Best Clown for Kirk Marsh in "TOAST"
Best Mime for Makoto Inoue in "Richard"
Best International Show for "Hamlet: A Stand Up" by Roger Westberg
Best Drama for "ERIC(A)" with Teresa Sanderson
Best Musical for "Diva!" by Sean Patrick Monahan
Best Avant-Garde Show for "Hazards" by Mina Samuels
Best Period Piece for "Solemn Mockeries" with David Melville
Best Variety Show for "The Great Goddess Bazaar" with Tammy Meneghini
Best Stand-Up for "Made in Puerto Rico" by Elizardi Castro
Best Multimedia for "BIO-HAZARD: a relative comedy" by Sarah Elizabeth Greer
Best Cabaret for "Hey, Piano Bar Lady!" by Linn Lorkin
Best Experimental Piece for "poetry about how difficult it is to be in your twenties" by Julian Goldhagen
Best Magic Show for "Waiting for Hitchcock" with Robert Jägerhorn
Best Puppetry for "A Life in Her Day" by Hilary Chaplain
Best Educational Piece for "THE SCRIPT" by Tim Collins
Best Documentary for "The Bark & The Tree" by Vivian Nesbitt
Best Dramatic Script for "Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter" by Alison Wearing
Best Comedic Script for "Blood Type: RAGU" by Frank Ingrasciotta
Best Non-Fiction Script for "DARK STARS" written by Arthur Meek and performed by Jonathan Council
Best Satirical Script for "Sublimity" by David Bridel
Best Documentary Script for "MAGDALEN" by Erin Layton
Best Adaptation for "Mica's Skin" by Ana Asensio, Paloma Bravo, and Jean Randich
Most Popular Show for "The Bronx Queen" by Joe Gulla, directed by Brian Rardin
Best Premiere for "Leading Men" by Blake Walton, directed by Ann Morrison
Best Short Solo for "Preacher Man" by Jesse LaVercombe, directed by Adam Lazarus
Best Emerging Artist for Deb Radloff in "Mother Knows Best"
Best Lighting Design for Karen Perlow, "The Bark & The Tree," performed by Vivian Nesbitt
Best Sound Design for Jörgen Aggeklint, "Hamlet: A Stand Up," performed by Roger Westberg
Best Costume Design for Kirsty Cameron, "On the Upside Down of the World," performed by Laurel Devenie
Best in Social Networking for "Michael's Daughter" by Ciera Payton
First Sold-Out Show for "Mrs. Kemble's Tempest," performed by Jane Ridley
Audience Award for "Diva!" performed by Sean Patrick Monahan

This year, the Festival gained even more popularity, with sixty-three sold-out shows, and extensive coverage in the press and social media. The mission of United Solo also includes public service to the broader theatre community. Each year, donations are collected for The Actors Fund.

"We are tremendously grateful to the producers of this year's United Solo Festival and their audiences. Their donations will help in preventing evictions, securing medical care, putting food on the table and meeting many other needs of our colleagues who are facing difficult times" - said The Actors Fund CEO, Joseph Benincasa. David Engelman, Communications Director of The Actors Fund, was present at the Closing Ceremony to accept the check of one thousand four hundred and twenty dollars for donations collected at the Festival.

The best scripts presented at this year's United Solo will be included in a special collection at Indie Theater Now, a digital library of theatrical plays. Submissions for the next year's United Solo will be announced early next year at the festival's website:

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