Musical ‘Kingdom Come,’ other plays win big at Downtown Urban Theater Festival

The winners of the 2012 Downtown Urban Theater Festival 2012 have been announced!

After reviewing audience post-performance surveys, DUTF named “Kingdom Come,” a musical by playwright and composer Matthew Osceola Webster, as Best Play, according to BroadwayWorld.

According to the Kingdom Come website, the musical is about “stories, memories and connections.”

Here is a complete description:

It features 14 stories all centered around the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Led by interview-style vignettes, “Kingdom Come” strives to take you back to “where you were” and challenges you to move into the future. Told through singing and dancing, monologues and scenes, the stories transport the Voice and the audience to a seventh grade classroom, the streets of New York City, a grocery store, a college party and ultimately, a cliffside.

The show was originally produced at West Virginia University, where Webster recently graduated with a degree in Theatre.

“Co-op” by Barbara Kahn and “Asylum” by Cheril N. Clarke won the “Best Short Play” and “Audience” awards, respectively.

The complete list of honored plays includes:

BEST PLAY CATEGORY

Winner – Kingdom Come by Matthew Osceola Webster
Second Place – Asylum by Cheril N. Clarke
Third Place – Kings by Anna Governali

BEST SHORT CATEGORY

Winner – Co-op by Barbara Kahn
Second Place – Standing At … by Chandra Thomas
Third Place – Undertow by Mel Nieves

AUDIENCE AWARD

Winner – Asylum by Cheril N. Clarke

The 10th anniversary season of the festival included 15 new works – including our play, “Secrets; Love” – and ran from March 14 through 31 at the HERE Arts Center in SoHo. The 15 were selected out of over 100 submissions to the festival, which is run by nonprofit Creative Ammo.

Assistant Director and lead actress Liliane Wolf and I had the honor of meeting Matthew at the opening reception for the festival and chatting about some cool sneakers he had on and of course, about our respective plays. He seems like a talented young man and while we didn’t get to see his show (“Secrets; Love” had a run in Hoboken the same night, unfortunately), we’d love to see a future production of “Kingdom Come.”

While my play, “Secrets; Love,” didn’t win any awards, we’re proud to even have been selected for the festival. We’re also proud of our talented cast and crew, which delivered an amazing, knockout show at the HERE Arts Center during our performance at the festival on the the 28th.

I agree with Lili, who said, “We did a great job and as long as we went out there doing everything we could to proudly do our best, it doesn’t matter if we won – The experience was amazing and we got so much out of it!”

“Secrets; Love” is an original play loosely based on a true story of a New York case tried in 2010. In the story, a young woman (Liliane Wolf) and her next-door neighbor (Jean-Pierre Mestanza) try putting the pieces together when her mother (Siouxsie Suarez) disappears and her father (Stan Vidal) is suspected of murder. As they solve the puzzle, they discover the lengths some would go to for love.

If you’ve like to keep posted on everything “Secrets; Love,” like us on Facebook.

Previous coverage:
‘Secrets; Love’ is a smash at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival!
Downtown Urban Theater Festival kicks off with ‘Death Boogie’

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About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
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