It’s been a busy week for us at Solas Nua. We’ve got The Performance Corporation in town and they are hard at work rehearsing Swampoodle which will run for 1 week only in mid-May, tomorrow is our Capital Irish Film Festival Fundraiser The 20th Anniversary Party for The Commitments, and in the midst of all of that we have been making appearances at all the most prestigious awards ceremonies around town. It’s been quite a run this year and it’s just so amazing to be recognized for all the hard work that everyone puts into Solas Nua productions.
First up on DC Awards tour was the Mayor’s Arts Awards, presented by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. As per Linda’s instructions we began to congregate, dressed in our very best and looking ever so elegant, around Kennedy’s Bust in the always beautiful Kennedy Center; Donors, Staff, Board Members and Friends of Solas. We were nominated for an “Innovation in the Arts” award along with Contemporary Music Forum/VERGE Ensemble, Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Company, The Double Nickels Theatre Company, Inc., FotoWeekDC, and The Studio Theatre.
We waited with baited breath, As Deirdre Burke (Cultural Attaché for the Irish Embassy) and Dr. Paul Virander came out to announce winner of the “Innovation in the Arts” award. We took home the award that night, and Linda Murray, our ever brilliant Artistic Director, took the stage to accept it. The Solas Nua afterparty was held at Mie N Yu in Georgetown where we rehashed the evenings events. We are so very proud and grateful to have been given this award and congratulate all of those who were nominated and those who won in their categories. We have a truly unique and innovative arts community here in Washington and are so privileged to work alongside of you all.
Last night saw us once again dressed to the nines for what we affectionately call Theatre Prom. It’s the night when all the hard work that our amazing theatre community puts forth throughout the year is recognized in a ‘Drama Desk’ like atmosphere, the Helen Hayes Awards. The Solas Nua entourage met at Againn to a pre-awards-ceremony cocktail and then ventured over to Pennsylvania Avenue and the Warner Theatre. Outside of the theatre were all of DC’s finest theatre in combinations of taffeta, lace, silk and chiffon. You could feel the energy and excitement as camera crews were interviewing people left and right. We made our way into the theatre ( which is beautiful), and settled in for the next 2 1/2 hours.
Solas Nua production were nominated for two awards this year:
Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production
Matt Otto, Johnny Meister and the Stitch, Solas Nua
and Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production
Diane Coburn Bruning, Improbable Frequency, Solas Nua
Each was up against a talented group of nominees, sadly we didn’t take home either award that evening, but we are honored, just the same for being recognized, in the DC theatre community.
Of course the best part of the Helen Hayes Awards, besides honoring all of the talented artists in DC, is the afterparty at the JW Marriott next door to the theatre. It was a sea of formalwear as we walked the 2 blocks to the hotel ready to put our dancing shoes on. The place was ready for us, complete with bite size foods, sweets to keep us going all night long, a dance floor and a photobooth (still waiting for those digital copies to be available online). The first brave souls on the dance floor were no amateurs and set the tone for the rest of the night of dancing. Highlight: Synetic Theatre company members showing off their best moves. Everyone was ready to shake their tale feathers and those Solas Nua ladies sure know how to bust a move (too many dancing clichés, perhaps). In any case we had a fantastic time and hope to be back next year.