‘Pillow Talk,’ ‘Hansel, Gretel’ earn one-act awards

Christine June, Story and photo
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

***image1***“Pillow Talk” and “Hansel and Gretel” were the talk of the U.S. Army
Europe Festival of One-Act Plays held Oct. 8 and 9 in Heidelberg.

The 435th Services Squadron Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theater’s “Hansel and
Gretel” took home seven awards, and U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern
KMC Onstage’s “Pillow Talk” won four awards, competing against 16 plays
in this year’s competition. Also, a KMC Onstage volunteer, Sarah
Bright, won first place out of 35 actors in the monologue competition
with a section from “A, My Name is Alice.”

The Festival of One-Act Plays is an annual competition with U.S. Forces
theater departments throughout Europe showing their best productions of
short dramas, comedies and musicals.

“I’m incredibly excited about the success of ‘Pillow Talk,’” said
Laurie Ellington, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern KMC Onstage
director. “I’m particularly pleased that an Army sergeant won the best
director award because the one-act festival was established in order to
help foster new directing talent and that’s exactly what I was able to
do by having him direct ‘Pillow Talk.’”

Directing his first play since college, Sgt. Chris Patterson won best
director for “Pillow Talk,” and the show garnered second-place honors
for best in show. The show’s two main characters, Senior Airman
Nicholas Childs and R.J. Garrison, tied for second-place for best actor.

“This year’s winnings were really special because five out of six
performers were new to the stage or to major roles, four out of six
cast members won individual awards and the cast won an ensemble award
competing against 16 adult play groups,” said Paula Fairbrother,
Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theater producer, director and technical director.
“Hansel and Gretel” garnered two first-place wins with 12-year-old
Juliana Knaup in her first-leading role as “Gretel,” and first-time
performer, Master Sgt. Tiffany C. Smith as “The Witch,” taking home
best actress and best supporting actress, respectively.

“I’m still a little shocked. I have no acting experience and until
recently I have never even thought about being on stage,” said Sergeant
Smith, U.S. Air Forces in Europe Headquarters Command Chaplain’s Office
non-commissioned officer in charge.

Portraying “Hansel,” 11-year-old Elena Fritz earned second-place for
best actress. The cast won second-place for best ensemble, and Heather
Robi won second-place for best stage manager.

David Jones in his second theater production played “Hansel and
Gretel’s father” and won third place for best supporting actor. The
show won third place for best show.

The Festival of One-Act Plays is traditionally held over the Columbus
Day weekend and showcases all the nominated plays. Each show has 10
minutes to set-up and set-down, and is limited to an hour performance.

The weekend also includes workshops in acting, music and directing, and a monologue competition.