Hunting and gathering awards

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Hunter Gatherers is the 2006 winner of the Will Glickman Playwrights Award.

The annual award — given to the author of the best play to make its world premiere in the Bay Area — comes with a $4,000 check.

An esteemed group of theater critics _ including me, naturally _ met to discuss the merits of some 200 new plays that took a bow last year. And, as they say, cream rises to the top. The critical contingent, which also includes Karen D’Souza of the San Jose Mercury News, Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Avila of the SF Bay Guardian and Chloe Veltman of the SF Weekly, wasted no time in selecting Nachtrieb’s dark comedy as the best of 2006.

The first full-length play by San Francisco sketch comedy troupe Killing My Lobster, Hunter Gatherers ran last summer (and ran and ran) at the Thick House. The show was by turns hilarious, sexy and a little scary. It’s the story of two young Bay Area couples and their IKEA-cozy lives. One night, after the slaughter of a lamb for a dinner party, things fall apart, and everyone gives in to their most primal urges. Here’s what I said about the play when I included it in my Top 10 list:

Of all this year’s comedies, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s world premiere for sketch troupe Killing My Lobster was the meatiest. Maybe it had something to do with the onstage slaughter of a lamb at the play’s start. Or maybe it was the huge chunk of roasted meat that factors into the play’s bloody end. Whatever, this was an aggressively funny play about our primal, cave-man impulses, man’s need to hump (or kill) everything in sight and woman’s need for chocolate.

The Glickman award, named for the late comedy writer and playwright Will Glickman, has been bestowed since 1984 and is administered by the Will Glickman Foundation and Theatre Bay Area. The award was created to encourage the development of new work. Previous Glickman winners have included last year’s winner, The People’s Temple by Leigh Fondakowski and her team of writers, Liz Duffy Adams’ Dog Act , Denis Johnson’s Soul of a Whore and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.

For information about Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, visit his Web site at

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