“Enemies” receives “Outstanding World Premiere Play” award

Maura Halloran, photo by Jim NorrenaMaura Halloran as Bridget in the Central Works production of “Enemies: Foreign and Domestic.” Photo by Jim Norrena.

The 2015 Theatre Bay Area Awards ceremony was a surreal experience. I went begrudgingly, on some levels, because I hate to lose in public, and because awards in general are so idiosyncratic as to be meaningless much of the time. I kind of hate competition, although anyone will tell you I’m competitive. Plus, I’m an introvert and uncomfortable in crowds. On top of all of that, the dress code was “semi-formal” and I don’t dress up. (Insert grouchy emoticon here.)

At any rate, the ceremony was three hours long and somewhat fun, somewhat tedious. By which I mean that the entertainment was entertaining (thank heavens) and the awards distributions were not. My hands hurt from clapping, and most of my friends remained finalists. My friends Desiree Rogers and Maura Halloran were not recipients, which was a big disappointment.

My category was fourth-to-last, so I followed instructions and left my seat right before the rendition of “Suddenly Seymour” – which I had wanted to enjoy – to stand in a cold hallway awaiting the announcement. We had received instructions that we would be in a tableau, and then another email said that we would walk across the Geary stage. As it turned out, we would do neither…we were to hang out backstage and, after the winner was announced, only s/he would go onstage. A kind volunteer told us we could wait in the back of the house to watch “Suddenly Seymour,” and then the winner could climb the stage from the audience. That was a relief. I chatted with one of the other finalists, Nayia Kuvetakis, nominated for Faultline Theatre’s “Trailer Park Gods.” I felt kind of pre-disappointed as they named the finalists.

… and then they announced my name.

Running up the aisle and stumping onto the stage in my not-really-very-semi-formal attire, I felt almost sick to my stomach, my body flooding with adrenaline. I kept breathing, though, and felt myself standing on the giant Geary Theatre stage, a truly thrilling experience. Backstage, I received two lovely hugs, from Dale Albright and Claire Rice. Then I collected my award, got my photo taken, and gave my thanks into the Periscope app, feeling light-headed the whole time.

So, that’s it! ENEMIES is “Outstanding World Premiere Play, 2015.” It was chosen from among a lineup of excellent plays, and I’m grateful. Read more about the Theatre Bay Area Awards program, here.