Bruce J. Robinson
Playwright Home Bio Stage Film and TV Blog Contact Screenwriter

Friday, September 19, 2008


Art isn't a competative sport. It's not a race. It's not comparative. I know this. Yet why does it feel so damned good to have won this award? Am I not as evolved as I suspect?

The AB*IE awards are given annually by the Abingdon Theatre for the Abingdon play, actors, and design elements deemed "the best." It's voted on by the subscribers and others who've seen the play.

This Monday, my play ANOTHER VERMEER won for "Best Play." Our star, Austin Pendleton, won "Best Actor." It was a beautiful evening.

Patently, I'm predisposed toward the Abingdon (and, happily, they are to me). They did a reading and a staged-reading of my play INNOCENCE. (This play is having an invited reading at THEATRE 40 in Los Angeles on Oct. 9th starring my dear friend, the remarkable actor Alan Blumenfeld.) Further, they did ANOTHER VERMEER.

The food was wonderful (paid for by a generous board member). I didn't think I would win, so I decided to gird my loins with carbohydrates. I ate my weight in cookies - which I followed by a sandwich for dessert.

What also led to our ("our" includes my wife, Donna) joy at being there was that we really like the people on the staff at the Abingdon. The Artistic Director and co-founder, Jan Buttram, is a woman of extraordinary talent, drive, and energy. Luckily for the Abingdon, she uses these resources in maintaining a small theatre dedicated to new work - a marginal art form that shrinks as we speak. Kim Sharp (the Assoc. Artistic Director) brings a calm, ordered, perceptive, and tireless presence - which, I imagine, he also does as a director.

We were invited into the June Havoc Theatre (one of two in the Abingdon stable) to begin the presentation. The first award ANOTHER VERMEER won was for "Best Costume." I accepted for Deborah Caney. She did extraordinary costumes on an extraordinary budget. She was also a terrific collaborator. I extolled her and expressed her gratitude.

It was time for "Best Actor." All of our 5-man cast was nominated. I wasn't surprised when they announced the winner. Austin Pendleton. Donna and I love Austin as a man, artist, and friend. The ever-generous Austin heaped praise on both the role and the play.

Finally, they announced the nominees for "Best Play." I had seen the other shows and know just how good they are. The awards had been somewhat split, so I wasn't wildly optimistic. Bang! We won.

A few years back, I had won the Berrilla Kerr Award (a remunerative and prestigious one). I was told that I might have to make a speech. Well, it turns out that every winner was making a formal address. Heck, I wasn't worried. I could wing it. After all, I won 3rd Place in the New York State High School Boys' Extemporaneous Speaking Championship.

I forgot to thank my wife. Yipe!

This time, I began with encomium to the sublime Donna. She liked it.

Best-of-all, however, is that after the ceremony so many people told me how much pleasure and insight my play had brought to them. More than anything, that makes all those hours of solitary writing feel worthwhile.

And now; each afternoon, a beautifully mounted crystal box balanced on one of its points catches the sun and diffuses the colors on the far wall. It says "Best Play." And that is mega-groovy.

Post a Comment  -


Previous Posts

News Archives

Subscribe to Bruce's FREE Email News Email  or  RSS News Feed RSS

All content copyright © 2008 Bruce J. Robinson. All rights reserved.