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Penn Hills Resident Receives Award

Runner-Up for the "Donna"

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Kristiann Menotiades, resident of Penn Hills and daughter of Gloria (Derdock) PHHS '73 and Dr. John Menotiades, residing in Penn Hills, is a Runner-Up recipient of the prestigious Pittsburgh New Works Festival Award "Donna" for Outstanding Lead Actress in the production, "Cake Without Frosting" at the (McKeesport Little Theater). The story, which appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 21, 2004 Pittsburgh Post Gazette follows. Our Penn Hills hats are off to Kristiann... Congratulations!
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Pittsburgh, Pa.
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2004

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New Works celebrates its season

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

By Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Kristiann Menotiades

The sprawling ad hoc community that is the Pittsburgh New Works Festival celebrated a successful 14th season Sunday with its annual awards gala at Riverwatch in the Strip District.

There had been concern that this year's move to the studio theater at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts would cause problems. But while attendance sagged initially as audience members learned new routines, the theater proved more flexible than the previous location at City Theatre, and CAPA students assisted as stage managers and crew.

The gala was the usual ebullient occasion, as a couple of hundred members of the 20 participating theater groups put on their party clothes, drank, ate, applauded each other and then danced, lifted by the satisfaction of producing 15 original plays and six seated readings in less than two months.

The funniest, most comprehensive speech of the evening was given by Jay Keenan, longtime actor and director for Duquesne University's Red Masquers, who received the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award. Keenan thanked the members of his father's theater group who taught him early "to love theater and respect everybody who works in it."

The festival's awards are nicknamed Donnas, in honor of festival founder Donna Rae. The Donna for outstanding contribution by a playwright, given to Kim Zelonis for "A Skewed Nude," carried an additional prize of $500. The Donna for the best of the three children's plays went to "Recovering the Satellites" and carried $100 for playwright Emily Nagin, a CAPA sophomore.

The Shirley Custer Award (a $500 scholarship) circles among area colleges. This year, it was the turn of Chatham College, which split the award between students Emily Fear and Michelle Greene.

The awards:

Outstanding Production: "Getting to Know You" (Baldwin Players). Runners-up: "Bill and Me" (Unseam'd Shakespeare); "Beartooth" (Summer Company); "Flame On Flame Off" (Pittsburgh Playwrights).

Outstanding Playwright: Kim Zelonis, "A Skewed Nude" (CCAC South). Runners-up: Chris Noel, "Flame On Flame Off"; Kathryn Miller Haines, "Getting to Know You."

Outstanding Direction: Jackie Nicoll, "Getting to Know You." Runners-up: Ro Vigilante and Chris Rudolph, "Beartooth"; Laura McCarthy, "A Skewed Nude."

Outstanding Lead Actress: Barbara Pakler, "yellow daffodil caution lines on the 11:37" (Proudly Presents). Runners-up: Kristiann Menotiades, "Cake Without Frosting" (McKeesport Little Theater) [emphasis Webmaster's]; Bridget Carey, "Getting to Know You"; Susan Skosko, "A Skewed Nude."

Outstanding Lead Actor: Mark Thompson, "Flame on Flame Off." Runners-up: Don DeGiulio, "Bill and Me"; Gregory Caridi, "Getting to Know You."

Outstanding Supporting Actress: Theo Allyn, "A Skewed Nude." Runners-up: Jami DeCrease, "Beartooth"; Phyl Charnes, "yellow daffodil ...; Erin Stetor, "Set Piece" (Open Stage).

Outstanding Supporting Actor: Randy Akan Oliva, "Erudite Englishman Seeks" (Jewish Theatre). Runners-up: Chris Sullivan, "Beartooth"; Everett Lowe, "The Second Kick of a Mule" (Gemini).

Outstanding Children's Play: Emily Nagin, "Recovering the Satellites" (Rage of the Stage Players).

(Post-Gazette drama editor Christopher Rawson)
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