Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Announces 2016 Award Winners

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity closed out its season on August 14 with its annual award ceremony, held at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. Honoring many of the shows and individuals that participated in the just-completed 2016 Theatre Festivity, the evening was hosted by Rich Wineski and Alex Braxton with the Planet Connections staff.

"This was a banner year for Planet Connections," proclaimed Brock H. Hill, the company's artistic director, "both in terms of overall media attendance and through the enormous enthusiasm of the Festivity audiences. The awards give us a chance to say 'well done' to all those who took part in this year's Festivity and allow our staff a bit of relaxation before we start getting ready for our 2017 season."

Chosen by the Planet Connections staff, winners were announced in 37 separate categories, with three additional non-competitive awards also being handed out. Entertainment for the evening was provided by the casts of the Planet Connections productions Ambition, Nix, Ocean in a Teacup and The Golden Smile, who presented excerpts from their shows during the award ceremony.


The winners of the 2016 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards are:

Outstanding Overall Production of a New Play

The Chaplin Plays

Written by Don Nigro, Produced by Nylon Fusion Theatre Company

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical/Play with Music

Ambition

Written by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Directed by Lauren Z. Adleman, Produced by Rebecca Russell/Undiscovered Countries

Outstanding Overall Production of a Revival or Adaptation

Ribs (tie)

Written by Genevieve Beaudoin, Directed by Tyler Thomas, Produced by The Ribcage

Who Am I (tie)

Written by Rodney Reyes, Produced by Step 1 Theatre Project

Outstanding Overall Production of a Short Play or One-Act

Occasionally Nothing (Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: 3 Plays of Verbal Bondage)

Written and produced by Natalie Menna, Directed by David Triacca and Ivette Dumeng

Outstanding Overall Production of an Evening of One-Acts

Blankets and Bedtime: 3 Restless Plays

Written by Erik Champney, Directed by Janet Bentley, Produced by Pixie Theory Productions

Outstanding Overall Production of a Solo Show

Hope You Get to Eleven or What Are We Going to Do About Sally?

Written by Padraic Lillis, Produced by The Farm Theater

Outstanding Overall Production of a Staged Reading

d4rkly your retrotockets fl4re

Written by Steven Mark Tenney, Produced by The Constellation Project

Outstanding Playwriting of a New Script

Will Coleman, Helvetica

Outstanding Book of a new Musical or Play with Music

The Social Avenger

Written by Lenny Schwartz, Produced by Daydream Theater Company

Outstanding Music & Lyrics

Ambition

Written by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Directed by Lauren Z. Adleman, Produced by Rebecca Russell/Undiscovered Countries

Outstanding Playwriting of a One-Act/Short Form

Natalie Menna, Occasionally Nothing (Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: 3 Plays of Verbal Bondage)

Outstanding Playwriting Staged Reading

Maxine Kern, Red Emma

Outstanding Direction of a Play or Musical

Lori Kee, A Light in the Dark

Outstanding Direction of a Solo Show

Padraic Lillis, The Pink Hulk

Outstanding Direction of a One-Act/Short Play

Janet Bentley, Sparklers (Blankets and Bedtime: 3 Restless Plays)

Outstanding Choreography (Fight or Dance)

Valerie Mae Browne, Who Am I

Outstanding Scenic Design

Roi Escudero, Flow

Outstanding Lighting Design

Jake Fine, A Light in the Dark

Outstanding Sound Design

Tom King, Helvetica

Outstanding Costume Design

Laura Mae Baker, Imaginary Friends! (tie)

Janet Mervin, The Chaplin Plays (tie)

Outstanding Use of Projections, Special Effects, Performance Art, and/or Multimedia Event

Roi Escudero & Valentin Ewan, Flow

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play

Francesco Andolfi, Drones

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play

Ivette Dumeng, The Chaplin Plays

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical or Play With Music

Johnny Sederquist, The Social Avenger

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical or Play With Music

Patricia Sabulis, Ambition

Outstanding Supporting Actor a Musical or Play with Music

Damian Norfleet, Nix

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play with Music

Vanessa Blanchette, The Social Avenger

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

William Hochman, Drones

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

Amber Crawford, A Light In the Dark

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, Musical, or One-Act/Short Play

Mary Sheridan, Who Am I

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Musical or One-Act/Short Play

Vinny Eden Ortega, Drones

Outstanding Lead Actor in a One-Act/Short Play

Max Meyers, Sparkler (Blankets and Bedtime: 3 Restless Plays)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a One-Act/Short Play

Molly Collier, Some Dreams (A Madness of One-Acts)

Outstanding Actress in a Staged Reading

Heather Massie, Hedy! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamar

Outstanding Actor in a Staged Reading

Neil Pritchard, Suicide by Wife

Outstanding Performance in a Solo Show

Adin Lenahan, Pilgrim Notes

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Musical, or Evening of One-Acts

The cast of Antigone (tie)

The cast of Helvetica (tie)

Awards were also handed out in the three following three non-competitive categories:

Planet Activist Award - given to the group or individual who helps raise the most money and/or best calls attention to the work of the charity they were affiliated with during the Festivity:

Step1 Theatre Project (Who Am I) for hosting Who Are You?: A 24-Hour Pride Fest, benefitting the Audre Lorde Project;

The Pink Hulk, for raising funds and awareness for Mary's Place By The Sea;

A Light In the Dark, for raising funds and awareness for KittyKind;

Hope You Get to Eleven or What Are We Going to Do About Sally?, for raising funds and awareness for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline;

Cupcake Lady Productions (Imaginary Friends!) for working with Candle Lighters in costume for their charity event.

Greener Planet Award - given to the group or individual, who goes above and beyond the call of duty implementing Green aspects into their production).

Gideon for its Eco-Friendly Set Design

Flow, for recycled materials used for set and props

Conservation Theater (Rated R for Recycling) for addressing green issues and offering practicAl Green alternatives to the audience in their piece.

Congeniality Award - presented to the following artists for always being friendly, seeing as many shows as possible, providing food and support to our staff and frequently volunteering their time to make the festivity a success:

Valerie David (The Pink Hulk)

Amber Crawford (A Light in the Dark)

Bruce A. Kraemer (Gideon)


Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is designed to invoke the power of art in motivating philanthropy, community outreach and social change. Within the Festivity are multiple theater, film and music festivals. The Festivity is also the country's first eco-friendly arts festivity as their participating artists work to create eco-conscious art by revising their marketing, design and rehearsal techniques. Planet Connections artists are introduced to a community of like-minded theater makers, film makers and music makers as they raise awareness for an organization or cause of their own selection. The relationships formed during the Festivity allow artists to find new audiences and forge new partnerships. For more information, visit www.planetconnections.org.

Planet Connections is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Theatre Festivity. For more information, click here.



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