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Northwestern Professor David E. Tolchinsky Named 'Best Director' at Theater Festival

In his debut as both a theatre director and a playwright, Northwestern University Professor David E. Tolchinsky was named "best director" at the Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival for his autobiographical dramatic comedy "Where's the Rest of Me?"

The Strawberry One-Act Festival is a play competition in which the audience and theater's judges cast their votes to select the best plays of the season.

A longtime Hollywood screenwriter, Tolchinsky's first play was also nominated as one of the top four productions in the festival. Inspired by his relationship to Spalding Gray, his psychiatrist father Marshall Edelson, and the classic movie, "King's Row," Tolchinsky explored monologues, mental illness and movies in the darkly funny and personal show.

"Where's the Rest of Me?" actors Camara McLaughlin and Greg Peace were both nominated for best female and male actor, respectively. The show's trailer, created by Northwestern alumnus Jingyang Cheng, was also honored.

"The play evolved; it started as more of a drama and slowly we found the comedy in what I'd written," said Tolchinsky, director of Northwestern University's MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage Program at the School of Communication.

"In the end, I loved hearing the audience laugh -- and I was moved to see a few people crying," he said. "I can't imagine a more meaningful experience as a first time playwright and director."

Twice a year, hundreds of plays from across the country are submitted for the competition, which this time around was held at the Hudson Guild Theater in New York City.

Broadway producer Alia Harvey-Jones of Front Row Productions judged the plays.

For a full list of award winners and nominees, visit the Riant Theatre Web site.



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