“Building Madness,” a slapstick comedy by Kate Danley, is the winner of the 2016 Mildred and Albert Panowski Playwriting Award at Northern Michigan University. The play is set in the business world of 1930. Architects Max and Paul are struggling to keep their firm afloat. They have only a week to pay the bank $7,000 and, with the help of their not-so-bright secretary, Trixie, accidentally hire the mob to build a police retirement home.
“The Panowski Playwriting Award remains one of the top playwrighting competitions in the country,” said Ansley Valentine, director of theater at NMU. “We truly provide opportunities for playwrights to develop their craft and our audiences get to see plays developed here before they go on to New York or elsewhere. We are very excited to collaborate with Kate Danley on this hilarious play.”
A 25-year veteran of stage and screen, Danley has more than 300 film, theater and television credits to her name. Her plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Bath (UK) and other cities. She performed her original stand-up at such clubs as The Comedy Store and The Icehouse and wrote sketch for a weekly show in Hollywood. She trained at RADA London, The Groundlings, Folger Shakespeare, Theatricum Botanicum, Acme, Seattle Rep and in on-camera puppetry with Mr. Snuffleupagus.
Danley also is a “USA Today” bestselling author in the scifi/fantasy genre. Her books include “The Woodcutter,” “Maggie for Hire” and “Queen Mab.”
NMU’s Forest Roberts Theatre will present “Building Madness” Feb. 22-26, with Paul Truckey as director.
Other plays selected as finalists for the Panowski Award were: “Junk” by Emma Carter; “Stay” by Jayne Deely; “Romantic Tragedy” by Alexendra De Witt; “The Land Whale Murders” by Jonathan A. Goldberg; “Better Than Dreaming,” music by Joy Son and book/lyrics by Alan Gordon; “Space Girl” by Mora V. Harris; “Ron and Wanda” by Philip Kaplan; “Away We Go,” book, music and lyrics by Eli Pasic; “Divine Buoyancy” by Cary Simowitz; “Peer Review” by Stuart Stelly; “Cold” by Chris Sumberg; and “Dark Night of the Housing Crisis” by Sam Wallin.