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Joe Gulla's GARBO Wins Audience Award at 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival

Joe Gulla's GARBO Wins Audience Award at 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival

The Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF) has conferred playwright Joe Gulla's "GARBO" with their 2017 Audience Award.

Presented this past May at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre, "GARBO" sold out minutes after tickets went on sale. Written and performed by Gulla himself, the show was directed by Brian Rardin. The cast also featured Kate Greer in the role of Anne/Jenn and Aristotelis Ambatzidis as Ario/Angelo.

The playwright said, "I am extremely proud of this award. I have such respect for the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. They are a class organization! They support playwrights... they believe in "the words"! I was honored that they selected "GARBO" and shocked to find that they were hosting the selected plays at the legendary Cherry Lane Theater. What a fantastic opportunity!"

"Thanks to DUAF we were afforded to see and, ultimately, cast phenomenal talent. Kate Greer brought such a wry, yet poignant sensibility to her role as Anne/Jenn. It was wonderful working with her. Aristotelis Ambatzidis, in his stunning NYC debut, was as touching as he was fun/funny in the enigmatic Ario/Angelo!"

"My play explores unrequited love... its effects on the heart and mind. It was written to be performed in a spare fashion. My director, Brian Rardin, had none of that! Ha! He insisted and succeeded in creating a lush set and an atmosphere that provided a beautiful environment to explore my play's many emotional themes. The result was a gorgeous production that (as the DUAF award suggests!) seriously pleased our audience! It is incredibly satisfying to have done that!"

Press notes state: "GARBO" tells the story of Joe, a Gay New Yorker, who happens upon the tiny, hidden, candle-lit Garbo Bar during his visit to Rome, Italy. An emotional adventure begins when he is introduced to the handsome, enigmatic, (possibly!) closeted bartender/owner. Funny and heartfelt, Garbo explores why life and love may be better lived outside the closet... even (or especially) in the shadow of the Vatican!" "GARBO" had a staged reading this past October at the Dramatists Guild of America's Mary Rodgers Room in New York City.

Up next for Joe Gulla is "GAY.PORN.MAFIA", a collection of the playwright's nationally produced, award-winning short plays, hits NYC this Fall! For more information about Joe and his current projects, visit

Pictured: The cast of GARBO: Kate Greer, Aristotelis Ambatzidis and Joe Gulla. Photo by Brian Rardin.

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