Top honors
Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center's Ashley Kelly and Sgt. Will Wilson rehearse for the show "Where Have all the Lightning Bugs Gone?" which won Best Play at Army Europe's One Act Play Festival. In addition, Wilson and Kelley received awards for Best Actor and Best Actress, and GPAC's Rebekah Madden took home a second place award for directing the play.

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- At the annual Army Europe One Act Play Festival, here, over Columbus Day weekend, Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center proved that less can be more.

Their imaginative, concise two-character show "Where Have all the Lightning Bugs" gone captured the coveted honor for Best Play. For their performances in the piece, Sgt. Will Wilson and Ashley Kelley triumphed as Best Actor and Best Actress, and Rebekah Madden took home a second place award as "Lightning Bugs" director.

Stuttgart Theatre Center was given the prestigious nod as second place Best Show for their staging of an intense drama "Hope 'n' Mercy," for which director Elizabeth Winkler was named best director of the festival.

Stuttgart's Staff Sgt. Deborah Denney was acclaimed with a second place Best Actress award, and Richard Ranum scored the third place actor distinction, both turning in gripping portrayals.

The most awarded show in the festival, "Check, Please!" not only won third place Best Show, but the comedy presented by Vicenza Soldiers Theatre was showered with awards for Director Jerry Brees (third place), Stage Manager Pat Wilson (second place), and the entire four-person cast: Maggie Wallis (best supporting actress), Spc. James Malpino (second place actor), Allison Torchia (third place, actress) and Eric Grosshans (third place, supporting actor).

The line-up of 10 play entries had its share of audience favorites, not least of which was the hosting theatre's KMC Onstage production of the fanciful musical "How I Became a Pirate."

Another hit family-friendly production "Goldilocks on Trial" was put on by Ramstein's Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theatre. Among other recognition, both casts were commended for outstanding ensemble work.

The Best Ensemble was judged to be that for SHAPE Players' "The Real Inspector Hound," and the show's lavish set, costumes, lighting and sound was singled out as Best Total Technical Design. "Hound's" Bill Clinefelter and Tracy Gittins placed first and second in the Featured Role category, while Meg Long came in third as Supporting Actress.

Cheryl Navo won a Special first place award for her original script "Hotline," which was successfully mounted by Baumholder's Hilltop Theatre, bringing with it a second place supporting actress trophy for Amy Danzeiser and third place total design kudo for Navo.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Carr's gritty performance in "27 Wagons Full of Cotton," as produced by Wiesbaden's Amelia Earhart Playhouse, merited the second place supporting actor achievement.

Ansbach Terrace Playhouse's frivolous "Emotional Baggage" was commended for its witty costumes (second place) and Bamberg's Stable Theatre rounded out the schedule with a crowd-pleasing performance of the evergreen one act comedy "Boise, Idaho."

While the festival weekend is remarkable solely for its entertainment value, the primary intent of the event is to train participants (volunteer and staff alike) in theatre performance and production skills.

Attendees not only had the opportunity to immerse themselves in six hands-on workshops, but also learned about theatre craft from the verbal critiques presented by three adjudicators following each play performance.

This year's team of judges/teachers included Paul Bourne (executive director, Menagerie Productions, United Kingdom), Morrie Enders (managing and artistic director, Lincoln Community Playhouse, Nebraska), and Kathy Pingel (director, Kate Goldman Children's Theatre, Des Moines, Iowa).

While their words were layered with praise, the trio also found ways to constructively suggest improvements for each show.

As is tradition, the festival concluded with a guest showcase production. Theatre Winter Haven, an award-winning Florida company, presented their one-woman show "Golda's Balcony" to bring the entire weekend to a rousing conclusion.

Star Katrina Ploof had by then endeared herself to participants from throughout Europe with her well-attended workshops in improvisation and monologue presentation. The cheering standing ovation she warranted as Golda is any theatre practitioner's dream.

The complete list of winners:
Best Show: "Where Have all the Lightning Bugs Gone?"
Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center
Second Place: "Hope 'n' Mercy," Stuttgart Theatre Center
Third Place: "Check, Please!" Vicenza Soldiers Theatre

Best Director: Elizabeth Minkler, "Hope 'n'Mercy"
Second Place: Rebekah Madden, "Where Have all the Lightning Bugs Gone?"
Third Place: Jerry Brees, "Check, Please"

Best Ensemble: The Real Inspector Hound," SHAPE Players
2nd Place: "Goldilocks on Trial," Ramstein Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theatre
3rd Place: "How I Became a Pirate," Kaiserslautern KMC Onstage

Best Actress: Ashley Kelley, "Where Have all the Lightning Bugs Gone?"
Second Place: Staff Sgt. Deoborah Denney, "Hope 'n' Glory"
Third Place: Allison Torchia, "Check, Please!"

Best Actor: Sgt. Will Wilson, "Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone?"
Second Place: Spc. James Malpino, "Check, Please!"
Third Place: Richard Ranum, "Hope 'n' Glory"

Best Supporting Actress: Maggie Wallis, "Check, Please!"
Second Place: Amy Danzeiser, "Hotline," Baumholder Hilltop Theatre
Third Place: Meg Long, "The Real Inspector Hound"

Best Supporting Actor: Airman 1st Class Tate Pollock, "Goldilocks on Trial"
Second Place: Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Carr, "27 Wagons Full of Cotton," Wiesbaden Amelia Earhart Playhouse
Third Place: Eric Grosshans, "Check, Please!"

Best Featured Role: Bill Clinefelter, "The Real Inspector Hound"
Second Place: Tracy Gittins, "The Real Inspector Hound"
Third Place: Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez, "How I Became a Pirate"

Best Total Technical Design: "The Real Inspector Hound"
Second Place: "How I Became a Pirate"
Third Place: "Hotline"

First Place, Outstanding Original Script: Cheryl Navo, "Hotline"
Second Place, Outstanding Costume Design: "Emotional Baggage," Ansbach Terrace Playhouse
Third Place, Outstanding Costume Design: "Goldilocks on Trial"

Best Stage Manager: Staff Sgt. Michael Fitzgibbons, "Goldilocks on Trial"
Second Place: Pat Wilson, "Check, Please!"
Third Place: Kara Craven, "How I Became a Pirate."

Page last updated Thu November 14th, 2013 at 03:57