UNCSA Drama alumnus receives Lortel Award for Off-Broadway performance
A high school graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts has won a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in an Off-Broadway production. Gregg Mozgala, a 1996 graduate of the School of Drama high school program who is originally from Hickory, was honored for his work in “Cost of Living,” which also tied for Best Play.
Lortel Awards were presented Sunday at an event to benefit The Actors Fund. The Awards are named for Lucille Lortel, an actress and theater producer, and have been awarded since 1986.
Written by Martyna Majok, “Cost of Living” was produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival. Rebecca Naomi Jones (Drama ’03) appeared in the play alongside Mozgala at Williamstown Theatre Festival. When it moved to Manhattan Theatre Club she was replaced by Jolly Abraham (Drama ’02). The play had its final Off-Broadway performance in July 2017.
“The Cost of Living” delves into the chasm between abundance and need and explores the space where bodies — abled and disabled — meet each other. Mozgala plays a brilliant doctoral student who has cerebral palsy. Mozgala also has cerebral palsy. In the play, his character, John, hires a caregiver, played by Jones.
Many Lortel winners go on to Broadway runs. Among last year’s top prize-winners, “Oslo,” written by UNCSA Drama alum J.T. Rogers (’90), played off Broadway for 10 weeks before transferring to Broadway. It won four Lortel Awards, including Best Play for Rogers and Outstanding Lead Actress for alumna Jennifer Ehle (Drama ‘88). On Broadway, “Oslo” won two Tony Awards, including Best Play.
Also nominated for Lortel Awards this year were UNCSA alumni Tricia Barsamian (D&P ’04) for Outstanding Costume Design for KPOP (winner of Outstanding Musical); Camille A. Brown (Dance ‘01) Outstanding Choreography for “Bella,”; Brad Peterson (D&P ’09) for Outstanding Projection Design for “The Stone Witch”: and Terrence Mann (Drama ‘78) Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for “Jerry Springer -- The Opera.”