Waterloo actor Jennifer Cornish wins award at United Solo Festival in New York
'I feel like I've won a medal at the Olympics,' Cornish says of the win
Jennifer Cornish has won the best tragedy award for her performance of Myra's Story at the United Solo Festival in New York.
"It's one of those things that one dreams about but can't even quite imagine dreaming about," the Waterloo actor said before making her off-Broadway debut. She spoke with CBC News prior to her departure for the United Solo Festival, which is the world's largest solo theatre festival.
"To be invited to compete at the top of my ability, in a difficult art form, at the mecca and among the best – I feel like I've won a medal at the Olympics," Cornish said in a message to CBC News after her win.
A universal story
The one-woman play by Brian Foster features Myra, a "feisty, homeless 'wine connoisseur,'" as she tells the story of her life on the streets of Dublin and how she got there.
Though set in Ireland, Cornish said the stories she tells are universal.
"Alcoholism, addiction and homelessness are issues in pretty much every city on our planet," Cornish said. "There's almost nothing Myra talks about that every Canadian I know won't be able to connect with."
Cornish has had the exclusive Canadian rights to Myra's story since 2013, which means as long as she's playing the role no other productions can be mounted.
It's also won the approval of support agencies across Waterloo region, with the YWCA, House of Friendship, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and the Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, all of which endorsed the show as a community partner in 2016.
"Myra's Story is a powerful way for us to broaden awareness about the impact of addictions on people's lives," John Neufeld, CEO of the House of Friendship, has said about the show.