"And the Barrymore goes to...Azuka Theatre!"
I'm not going to lie, I've wanted to hear that for a LONG time! Winning the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company was a wonderful validation of the work we've been producing for the past 17 years. I'm on the board of Theatre Philadelphia, the organization that adjudicates the Barrymores and I was very involved in keeping the awards alive after a bit of a blip in the system.
Now, no one leads a life in the theater just so they can win an award. The work is hard and the pay is low, but the return on investment is HUGE! Running a small theater company, I spend far more time sitting at my desk than I do sitting in rehearsal; but I know all those hours at my desk BUY me that time in rehearsal, so that makes it all worthwhile. Also, I truly believe that the Barrymores are less about the awards themselves than it is about the celebration of the remarkable community of artists making theater in Philadelphia. And this year was no exception. The Merriam erupted in applause and cheers over and over as our friends and colleagues took to the stage to accept their prizes. There was a real sense of celebration and love in the room; it was remarkable. Below is my acceptance speech from the awards.