nytheatre.com People of the Year 2012
November 29, 2012
It’s that time of year again, when nytheatre.com celebrates a group of individuals and companies who have made a significant contribution to the indie theatre landscape in NYC. This is the ninth year in a row that we have recognized a group of theater artists in this manner, and we couldn’t be happier to introduce these folks to you.
The list is based on nominations made by nytheatre.com’s staff of contributors, and then selected by the board of our parent company, The New York Theatre Experience, Inc. Information about our prior honorees is available online: 2011, 2010, and 2004-2009.
So, without any further ado, meet our People of the Year for 2012 and find out what they have in store for 2013.
THE AMORALISTS is a theatre company co-founded by Derek Ahonen, James Kautz, and Matthew Pilieci in 2007. They specialize in new plays that are gritty, dangerous, unpredictable, and morally ambiguous.
One Memorable Thing They Did in 2012: Produced resident playwright Derek Ahonen’s sprawling and ambitious theatre noir, The Bad and the Better, complete with a 26-member cast.
Plans for 2013: The Amoralists are currently prepping their 7th season, which will include the world premieres of Lyle Kessler’s Collision and Derek Ahonen’s The Cheaters Club, and the New York premiere of Rantoul and Die by Mark Roberts.
Learn more at: The Amoralists’ website.
SPENCER ASTE is a veteran character actor of remarkable versatility.
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: Delivered another memorable performance as one of the denizens of a Dust Bowl town in AXIS Company’s production of Last Man Club by Randy Sharp.
Coming Soon: Spencer will soon be appearing in AXIS Company’s annual mounting of Randy Sharp’s Seven in One Blow, a winter play for children.
Plans for 2013: He will be featured in Storm Theatre’s production of Le Cid, opening in January.
Learn more at: The AXIS Company website.
FRED BACKUS is a multifaceted actor and director, a longtime reviewer for nytheatre.com, and a veteran of the indie theatre scene.
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: Directed the world premiere of Pamela Sabaugh’s funny and moving solo show, Immaculate Degeneration, at the New York International Fringe Festival.
Plans for 2013: Fred and Pamela are looking to mount another run of Immaculate Degeneration (and possibly go out of town with it)at some point during 2013. He will also be on the hunt for more interesting acting and directing projects.
Learn more at: The Immaculate Degeneration website.
ZACK CALHOON is a talented actor and playwright, as well as a devoted theatre blogger and interviewer.
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: He wrote Rino, a political comedy inspired by Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, which received its world premiere production at The Brick Theater’s Democracy Festival this past summer.
Plans for 2013: In February, Zack will be reprising his performance of the title role in Boomerang Theatre Company’s production of Hamlet, which will be remounted for a tour of New York City schools. He is also writing a new play, Friday at Jimmy’s, commissioned by Rising Phoenix Rep.
Learn more at: Zack’s blog and Indie Theater Now.
SOL CRESPO is a skilled actor and playwright. She is also the Company Manager of Barefoot Theatre Company, and a company member of Pregones Theater.
One Memorable Thing She Did in 2012: Delivered a pair of memorable performances in Flux Theatre Ensemble’s productions of Menders by Erin Browne and August Schulenberg’s Deinde.
Coming Soon: Sol will soon be appearing in Pregones’ production of Dancing in my Cockroach Killers by Magdalena Gomez, and their workshop presentation of Jorge B. Merced’s Neon Baby.
Plans for 2013: She is in pre-production for Old Maid, a short film which she wrote and will star in. Shooting begins in January.
Learn more at: Sol’s website and the Pregones Theater website.
ADYANA DE LA TORRE is a proficient actor and director, as well as the Artistic Director of Ticket 2 Eternity Productions.
One Memorable Thing She Did in 2012: She produced two plays by Matthew Ethan Davis simultaneously during the summer: Falling Awake (which she directed) at the Midtown International Theatre Festival; and Ticket 2 Eternity (which she starred in) at the New York International Fringe Festival.
Coming Soon: In December, Adyana will be appearing in readings of Nina Mansfield’s The Gym Play (or, I Want to Look Good Naked) and Tracking by Matthew Ethan Davis.
Plans for 2013: She plans to continue her acting studies with Terry Schreiber.
Learn more at: Adyana’s website and Ticket 2 Eternity’s website.
RICHARD HINOJOSA is an expert playwright and puppeteer, the Artistic Director of Sick Little Productions, and a longtime reviewer for nytheatre.com.
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: He wrote Awkward Levity, an evening of three dark comic one-act plays (one of which he directed), which world premiered for Sick Little Productions last winter.
Coming Soon: In December, Richard will be performing as a puppeteer in Alphabet Arts’ production of Sweatshirt Man, a found object bunraku puppet show.
Plans for 2013: Richard has written three more short dark comedies and three new puppet shows, all of which are currently in development with his theatre company.
Learn more at: Sick Little Productions’ website, Indie Theater Now and the Alphabet Arts website.
JOHN HURLEY is a prolific and accomplished director, and the Artistic Director of Impetuous Theater Group.
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: Directed a newly re-imagined version of Jules Feiffer’s Feiffer’s People for The Brooklyn Comics & Graphic Festival and The Brick Theater.
Plans for 2013: John will be directing the world premiere of Johnna Adams’ new verse play, Lickspittles, Buttonholers and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens, for Boomerang Theatre Company’s 2013 rep season.
MARIAH MACCARTHY is a savvy, inventive playwright and the Producing Director of Caps Lock Theatre.
One Memorable Thing She Did in 2012: Wrote and produced The Foreplay Play, about a potential foursome between a straight couple and a lesbian couple, which was given an intimate, site-specific production inside an actual Brooklyn apartment.
Plans for 2013: Mariah’s company, Caps Lock Theatre, will be presenting Sarah Shaefer’s play, The Gin Baby, along with another edition of PUSSYFEST, their popular showcase of new playwriting about the body. Mariah will also be developing the film adaptation of The Foreplay Play, workshopping her latest script, Lysistrata Rape Play,and working with Lauren Hennessy on a new web series about strippers.
Learn more at: Caps Lock Theatre’s website and Indie Theater Now.
MICHAEL MRAZ is a gifted and ubiquitous actor, and a frequent reviewer for nytheatre.com.
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: He starred in Serious Theatre Collective’s production of The Apocalypse of John, which ran at boththis year’s New York International Fringe Festival and Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe.
Plans for 2013: Michael will be appearing in Melisa Annis’ new play, Pit, which opens at Theater for the New City in February. He will also be appearing regularly in Our Bar, Project: Theater’s monthly series of bar-centric one-act plays.
KIA ROGERS is an inventive and omnipresent lighting designer, and a creative partner with Flux Theatre Ensemble.
One Memorable Thing She Did in 2012: She designed lights for 59E59’s acclaimed production of In the Summer Pavilion by Paul David Young.
Coming Soon: Kia’s work can soon be seen in Flux Theatre Ensemble’s production of Hearts Like Fists by Adam Szymkowicz.
Plans for 2013: Kia plans to tour with Mary Lou Quinlan’s solo show, The God Box: A Daughter’s Story, design lights for the Spanish dance company Noche Flamenca, and continue her partnership with Flux.
Learn more at: Kia’s website, the Flux website, and Mary Lou Quinlan’s website.
TERRANOVA COLLECTIVE is a theatre company founded in 1996 and dedicated to supporting playwrights and the development of new works for the stage.
One Memorable Thing They Did in 2012: They produced their 9th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival, which showcases the art of solo performance. This year’s edition featured performers Daniel Irizarry, Avery Pearson, Kelly Kinsella, and David Calvitto, among others.
Currently Playing: terraNOVA is currently presenting two productions: the world premiere of Robert Askin’s P.S. Jones and the Frozen City, and a return engagement of Adam Szymkowicz’s solo play UBU, directed and performed by Daniel Irizarry.
Plans for 2013: terraNOVA will co-produce The Correspondent by Ken Urban (with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) in the spring; they will present workshop presentations of new works developed by their Groundbreakers Playwrights Group; and their 10th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival is slated for May/June.
Learn more at: terraNOVA Collective’s website.
ERIN TREADWAY is an accomplished actor and a company member of Loading Dock.
One Memorable Thing She Did in 2012: She gave an outstanding performance as the title character in Leegrid Stevens’ play, Spaceman, which received its world premiere at Incubator Arts Project in October.
Plans for 2013: Erin will continue to develop Stevens’ latest work, The Dudleys!, through the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at The Singers Forum. A production is planned for the fall of 2013.
Learn more at: Erin’s website and Loading Dock’s website.
UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL is the world’s largest solo theatre festival, led by Artistic Director Omar Sangare.
One Memorable Thing They Did in 2012: They presented the third installment of their annual festival, which featured performers Bob Brader, Tim Collins, Anita Hollander, Herb Newsome, Antonio Sacre, and Elizabeth Claire Taylor among dozens more.
Plans for 2013: United Solo aims to continue growing and elevating the careers of solo performers from all over the world. Submissions for their 4th annual festival will open in the spring.
Learn more at: United Solo’s website and Omar’s website.
JORDANA WILLIAMS is an imaginative director and a company member of Gideon Productions.
One Memorable Thing She Did in 2012: She directed the world premieres of Mac Rogers’ epic science fiction trilogy – Advance Man, Blast Radius, and Sovereign – for Gideon Productions.
Plans for 2013: She and the Gideon team are currently developing two new plays by Rogers: Frankenstein Upstairs, a re-working of Mary Shelley’s classic tale; and an as-of-yet untitled play about the sci-fi writer James Tiptree, Jr.
Learn more at: The Gideon Productions website.
[Editor's Note: Thanks to Michael Criscuolo, a previous Person the Year himself, for helping compile information about this year's honorees]