Monday, April 27, 2009

Long Overdue Recognition for Some Indie Theater Mainstays

Today's announcement of the Drama Desk Award nominations made me smile quite broadly several times.

In the category of Outstanding Solo Performance are two actors who have been working diligently and persuasively in the indie world for quite some time: Frank Blocker of Southern Gothic Novel and Michael Laurence of Krapp, 39. The former debuted several years ago at the New York International Fringe Festival and has been running for most of 2009 at Stage Left Studio. The latter was in FringeNYC this past summer and then moved to Soho Playhouse, where it is still running. Krapp,39 is also published in my anthology Plays and Playwrights 2009, which makes it the first of our plays to achieve recognition from the Drama Desk.

And in the Unique Theatrical Experience category, the remarkable immersive physical theater piece Surrender, by Josh Fox & International WOW, is a nominee. (Josh's play The Expense of Spirit is published in Plays and Playwrights 2006.)

And while we're talking about awards, I want to publicly congratulate Susan Louise O'Connor for her Outer Critics Circle nod for her Broadway debut in Blithe Spirit. Susan has been trodding the boards of indie theaters for more than a decade with enormous success; I am thrilled to see her getting the attention she deserves. (NYTE named Susan one of its People of the Year back in 2005. I'm just saying.)

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