We have a very eclectic and dynamic and somewhat opinionated group of nominees this year and we wanted to get to know them a little better so we asked them to answer a few questions about their work.
Here are their answers to question #2:
What was your favorite OOB production that you saw this season?
“It would have to be BrainExplode, as part of The Brick's third annual Game Play festival, which is where Theater of the Arcade originated the year before. (Full disclosure: I'm totally associate director at The Brick.) Sneaky Snake's BrainExplode - written by a collaborative group of writers, directed by Paige Blansfield, and starring a trio of superlative indie performers, headlined by Stephen Heskett (full disclosure: also a star of Theater of the Arcade!) - was a live, interactive narrative game in which select audience members determined the action and unveiled one of many possible endings by verbally guiding Stephen's character through a series of character-resonant puzzles that combined to tell a larger story. It was wildly inventive, it played with the traditional audience contract in unique ways, and - perhaps most crucially - it didn't settle for foregrounding its own formal flash, but made a point of telling an authentic, emotional story within the particular confines of the world it created. I'm very excited to see how the show - and the group - develops next.”
– Jeff Lewonczyk, Outstanding Original Full-Length Script nominee for Theater of the Arcade, Piper McKenzie & The Fifth Wall in association with The Brick Theater
“I don’t know how many off’s they have on their Broadway, but I’m still shaking over Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. But you couldn’t get more Off-Broadway than Travis Chamberlain’s take on Tennessee Williams’ Green Eyes. Sitting in a cramped hotel room with Erin Markey breathing down my neck for forty minutes was like checking into a by-the-hour no-tell motel with a sex-starved Bengal tiger.”
– Clay McLeod Chapman, Outstanding Short Script nominee for both Diary DebrisSixteen Again which was part of the Pumpkin Pie Show, Horse Trade Theatre Group
“My favorite OOB show this season was The Changing Room. It was a gorgeously directed and acted piece. .”
- Jill Bianchini, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio
“The Tremendous Tremendous”
- Deanna McGovern, Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role nominee for An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Godlight Theatre Company
“It's a toss up between our productions of Reefer Madness and The Drowsy Chaperone.”
- Heather Siobhan Curran, Artistic Director for The Gallery Players, which is nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical for both Reefer Madness and The Drowsy Chaperone
“The Drowsy Chaperone!!”
- Robert Anthony Jones, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players
“10 For The Tatas - original theatre works that hosted new and award winning talent. All the artists collaborated for a great cause.”
- Belle Caplis, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio
“Whatever the Neo-Futurists touch is gold. Look for The Complete and Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill to sweep the IT Awards next year.”
- Matt Wilson, Outstanding Original Full-Length Script nominee for Play America (Life is Short, Wear Your Party Pants), Sister Sylvester
“Fabulous Darshan at the WorkShop Theater Company. It had a cast of 4 men that blew me away and the story dealt with the trials and tribulations of being gay in NYC during the epidemic, and the friendships that nurtured them. It made me laugh - it made me cry - and I left the theater feeling emotionally super charged. It was the best piece of theater I've seen in a long time.”
- Kelly Anne Burns, Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominee for The Navigator, Workshop Theater Company
“The Tremendous Tremendous was so warm and effective.”
– Matt Brogan, Outstanding Set Design nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio
“This season? I would say BrainExplode! at the recent Game Play festival at the Brick. Richard Lovejoy and Sneaky Snake Productions put together something truly unique there and it was executed in such a fun way. And Stephen Heskett, who was also in Theater of the Arcade, was totally great in it. Also the Assembly Theater's piece Home/Sick was amazing.”
– Kent Meister, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for Theater of the Arcade, Piper McKenzie & The Fifth Wall in association with The Brick Theater
“I admired The Human Comedy a lot.”
– Han Friedrichs, Outstanding Director nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players
“I don't know if Sleep No More qualifies as Off-Off, but it blew me away.”
– M.L. Dogg, Outstanding Sound Design nominee for The Land Whale Murders, Shelby Company
“Although that's a very difficult question to answer, I'd have to say m3, A NoSpace Odissey. Never has a play without words spoken to me so much, and the off-beat style of the piece along with the performance really defined diversity."
– Nick Paglino, Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role nominee for An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Godlight Theatre Company
“Goodbar by Waterwell was my favorite. It was extremely innovative and nothing like I had ever seen.”
– Jenny Lee Mitchell, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for Radio Purgatory, Theater THE
“My favorite production was Collaboration Town's The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew. Boo's script was so honest, touching and beautiful. And each actor's portrayals of the people in Boo's life were heartbreaking, engaging and absolutely hilarious. Director Lee Sunday Evans had such a light hand, allowing for the play and the actors to speak so honestly. The way this play dealt with Katrina too was with the perfect blend of humor, homage and heartbreak. Such a perfect production."
– Jennifer Conley Darling, Artistic Director for terraNOVA Collective and the soloNOVA Arts Festival which is nominated for Outstanding Performance Art Production for Woman of Leisure and Panic
– Aldo Perez, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Sound Design and Outstanding Original Music for Radio Purgatory, Theater THE
“Halfrican American by Rob King at The P.I.T.”
– Elaine Del Valle, Outstanding Solo Performance nominee for Brownsville Bred, Del Valle Productions, Inc.
“The Ninja Cherry Orchard”
– Frank Padellaro, Outstanding Original Music nominee for Theater of the Arcade, Piper McKenzie & The Fifth Wall in association with The Brick Theater
“Working as much as I do, I don’t get to see a lot of other productions, so The Drowsy Chaperone was my favorite”
– Ryan Moller, Outstanding Costume Design nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players
“This one is surprisingly easy... I saw Nat Cassidy's one man show in the HPLovecraft Things From the Doorstep evening and I loved it (Yay! He's nominated! WOOT!). I so rarely get swept up on a ride and he totally got me! I was quite literally about two thirds of the way in when I realized what had happened. Fantastic. I can imagine it to be a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ experience for most people... I'm in the LOVED IT camp.”
– Heather Cunningham, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role for Benefactors, Retro Productions
AND, when asked which OOB artist he would most like to work with (that he hasn't already), Clay McLeod Chapman responded, “I’d go another round with the green-eyed tiger. Or die trying.”
Tell us about your favorite OOB production this season?