The Theatre Festival in Black & White celebrated its 10th year with festivities that included handing out awards voted upon by a racially and gender-balanced committee drawn from its audience, board and theater critics.
Founded by Mark Clayton Southers of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, the festival's animating idea is to stage one-act plays equally split between black and white playwrights, each with a director of the other race. This year's plays all related in some way to the holidays of the season: Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa or the winter solstice. There were two different programs, each of five plays, performed alternately, Dec. 5-17.
Interspersed with Friday's awards were monologues, readings and performances by novelist Tameka Cage Conley, actors Kim El, Rita Gregory and Trevor Butler, poets Ray Werner and Twanda Clark, mime Candace Walker and comedians Paul Guggenheimer and Paul Blair.
2013 award winners:
Best Written Monologue: Wali Jamal, "St Clair Xmas."
Best Delivered Monologue: Maymie Williams, "We Need A Ramadan."
Best Supporting Actor (Tie): Bill Blair, "And to All a Good Night," and Andy Kirkland, "Cornucopia."
Best Supporting Actress: Jamilla Chanie, "And to All a Good Night."
Legacy Award: Mark Whitehead, Pittsburgh Playwrights resident sound designer.
Best Actress: Candace Walker, "An Ubuntu Holiday."
Best Actor: Wali Jamal, "St. Clair Xmas."
Best Director: Cheryl El-Walker, "And to All a Good Night."
Audience favorite play: Lissa Brennan, "And to All a Good Night."
Best Play: Wali Jamal, "St. Clair Xmas."