Some of nytheatre.com’s contributors and related personnel, both past and present, made a big splash at the Pretentious Festival’s closing night awards ceremony this past weekend. Alumni contributor Jeff Lewonczyk emceed a supremely raucous and tongue-in-cheek event that bubbled over with shenanigans. These were some of the highlights:
- Plays and Playwrights 2002 alumni and current contributor Matthew Freeman received the Most Understood award for his show, An Interview With the Author (apparently, this was meant as a citation of pretentious failure, but Matt somehow managed to get his show extended anyway – nice going, Matt).
- The other citation of pretentious failure went to Plays and Playwrights 2006 alum Kevin Doyle, who nabbed the Least Misunderstood award for his double-bill, Compression of a Casualty / Fox(y) Friends (his acceptance speech was met with catcalls of “Philistine!” and “Republican!” – bad form, people!).
- Current contributor Gyda Arber gave Sally Field a run for her money with a faux-tearful acceptance speech upon receiving the award for Most Nominated Actor (she appeared in three festival shows: Ian W. Hill’s Hamlet, Between the Legs of God, and Mother is Looking So Well Today – go get ’em, Gyda!).
- Current contributor Jon Stancato and Playing With Canons alumni Kiran Rikhye (both of whom were pretentiously absent) scooped up the award for Best Use of Cognitive Dissonance for their production of Commedia Dell’Artemisia.
- The cast and crew of Macbeth Without Words – which includes current contributors Fred Backus and Robin Reed – silently accepted the pretentiously-titled award for Densest Language Based on the Formula of a Picture Being Worth a Thousand Words (huh?).
The coup d’etat came when Brick regulars Aaron Baker, Bryan Enk, and Stacia French were given the award for Master of the Bard (they all appeared in two of the festival’s three Shakespeare productions – Ian W. Hill’s Hamlet and Macbeth Without Words), then called fellow Brick-er Christiaan Koop and yours truly onstage to help them with their acceptance speech, which turned out to be nothing less than an abridged performance of Julius Caesar (perhaps the only chance I’ll ever get to play Mark Anthony, so I took it).
Seriously, though: congratulations to all of my award-winning friends and colleagues here at HQ. Well done, people! Let’s all take a bow and do it again next year.