Tim Schmidt and Whitney Sawyer, who have both just graduated from the ArtEZ School of Acting, were presented with the ITs Acting Award 2016 in Amsterdam. The prize is awarded annually during the ITs Festival to graduating actors who show promise. At the ITs festival, the final-year students of the School of Acting put on Allen Af, a farce about a farce; a show which revolves around the craft of comedy acting.
From Tim's jury report
He is generous in his acting. Has flawless timing. He is able to seize his moments without stealing the limelight from his fellow actors. He retains a consistent tragedy throughout the arc of the play. Although it is a farce, he plays it as pure comedy. Thanks to his precise structuring of the character, his inner world is powerfully conveyed even in the silences. It is great to see how by the end of the performance, he merely has to appear in a doorway or stare at a plate of sardines to draw the entire audience towards him.
The jury on Whitney
Her warm and natural presence makes you want to keep on watching and listening to her. You always know and are able to relate to where her character is at. Despite the predictability of the play, she manages to surprise every time. The tender desperation of her character constantly wrong-foots you. While her acting seems extremely nuanced throughout the entire performance, she continues to surprise by suddenly turning up the intensity and using her voice to the full. All her actions display a smooth flow; even with her hands full of sardines, telephone wire wrapped around her legs and her head shaking around like crazy, her transitions are flawless and she never loses control.