Posts Tagged Carla Belver

Holiday Gifts from the American Theatre Critics Association!

posted by Carlyn Aquiline, Literary Manager and Dramaturg

It’s the season of giving, and the American Theatre Critics Association gave two gifts to City Theatre new plays this week! Two of our playwrights from this year have been nominated for American Theatre Critics Association new play awards.

Willy Holtzman

 Willy Holtzman’s The Morini Strad has been nominated for an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, which annually honors the best new American play that’s premiered outside of New York City. Six finalists will be chosen in January, and the winning play will be announced at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the spring of 2011. The winning playwright will receive $15,000 and inclusion in the annual theatre yearbook, Best Plays. The Morini Strad received its world premiere production at City Theatre from November 6-December 12, 2010.

David Whalen played Brian Skarstad and Carla Belver played Erica Morini in Willy Holtzman's THE MORINI STRAD.


Cori Thomas

 Cori Thomas and When January Feels Like Summer have been nominated for the M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award, which recognizes an emerging playwright for a new script produced outside of New York City. The winning playwright receives $1,000 and recognition in Best Plays. The award will be presented in the spring of 2011. When January Feels Like Summer received its premiere at City Theatre from March 20-April 11, 2010.

(L to R) John Marshall Jones as Joe, Debargo Sanyal as Indira, Carter Redwood as Jeron, and Joshua Elijah Reese as Devaun in WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER by Cori Thomas.

Both plays were audience favorites, playing to sold out houses and to overwhelmingly enthusiastic audience response.

Artistic Director Tracy Brigden had this to say about the nominations: “We are thrilled for Willy and Cori and so proud of these productions. These accomplishments are impossible without the dedication and talents of our staff and artists, especially Daniella [Topol] and Chuck [Patterson]’s sensitive direction, the actors’ brilliant performances, dramaturg Carlyn Aquiline’s invaluable guidance and insight, as well as the team of designers and artisans who created gorgeous productions. Bringing new plays to life is what City Theatre does, and we’re honored to share in the success of these extraordinary new plays.”

If you’d like to read more about the awards or the American Theatre Critics Association, see the ATCA’s website.

City Theatre congratulates Willy and Cori. With only about two dozen scripts recommended for these awards in most years, out of hundreds of new plays seen by ATCA critics across the country, being nominated is in itself an honor. But we hope they’ll be sweeping the awards in the spring!

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Audience Accolades – The Morini Strad

The Morini Strad continues its run until December 12th, and audiences are loving it.  You can see their feedback below:

“It was one of the most extraordinary plays at City Theater… in my last 3 years of season tickets.  Fabulous set, amazing casting, and absolutely riveting, touching and insightful for each of us as we look at how we live our lives, use our talents, live our dreams…or not… The unsettled ending… extends the impact of the play even after leaving the theater… forc[ing] us to participate, as it were, in writing the end of the play, personalizing it to our own set of values.”
Ann S.

“Loved this show – especially Carla. She’s an amazing actress that demonstrated such range of emotion. What a beautiful performance!!!!”
Cyrus E.

“This was one of the best productions I’ve seen at the City Theater.  The acting was wonderful and the story was engaging.  I forgot I was watching actors.  Thank you for such a wonderful production.”
Meryl L.

“Loved The Morini Strad!  The actors were amazing, the set was beautiful and the play was very warm, clever and touching.”
–Laurie M. W.

“My husband and I were blown away.  The actors were superb in their parts and the storyline itself was riveting.  Although not a comedy, the humor added a lot to the experience.  Bravo!”
— Katherine K.

“Bravo for the set, the performance, the script, the [talk-back], City Theatre and happy T-giving.  I am thankful for what you all do day in and day out to make City Theatre so important to Pittsburgh.”
— Laurie M.

“We all thought it was excellent, and we loved it even more when the main character [Brian Skarstad, played by David Whalen] showed up to talk with us after the play!   Well done!”
— Jacqui F. L.

“We loved THE MORINI STRAD; it was wise, funny, touching–great dialogue and great characters.”
— Emily S.


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Opening Night photos–MORINI STRAD

It’s been a little over a week since The Morini Strad opened, but it’s not too late to share some candids from the opening night party–which included not only the Morini Strad artists and City Theatre subscribers and supporters, staff, and board, but luminaries who had traveled from out of town to see the opening of this world premiere and raise a glass in celebration.

Actors David Whalen, who plays violin-maker Brian Skarstad, and Carla Belver, who plays violinist Erica Morini.

Playwright Willy Holtzman (left) with PlayPenn Artistic Director Paul Meshejian.

Director Daniella Topol (left), scenic designer Tony Ferrieri, and Artistic Director Tracy Brigden (right).

Assistant to the Director Chelsea Sanz and Production Stage Manager Patti Kelly.

Playwright Russell Davis (center) with his wife Cat (left) and Sylvia Shepard (right), wife of The Morini Strad playwright Willy Holtzman.

Violin-maker Brian Skarstad, composer Louise Beach (Brian's wife), and actress Carla Belver (who plays violinist Erica Morini).

Costume Designer Ange Vesco with actor David Whalen.

Production Assistants Niki Armato and Joanna Obuzor, Management Assistant Natalie Hatcher, Company Manager/Assistant to the Artistic Director Amy Claussen.

Sound Designer Brad Peterson (left), Laura Knouff, and frequent City Theatre lighting designer Andy Ostrowski (right).

Interim Managing Director Mark Power and Artistic Director Tracy Brigden.

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