NEW YORK CITY: Tonight, Dan O’Brien and Suzan-Lori Parks will be awarded the Horton Foote Prize in a private reception at the Lotos Club. O’Brien will be awarded the 2014 prize for 2012–13/2013–14 seasons’ Outstanding New American Play for The Body of An American, a play that previously shared the first Edward M. Kennedy Prize for political plays. Parks will receive the 2014 Promising New American Play award for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3).
The prizes come with $15,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote, which is found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
O’Brien and Parks were nominated by Portland Center Stage and the Public Theater, respectively. Body had its world premiere at PCS in Oregon in October 2012, and will be presented at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia Jan. 7–Feb. 1, 2015. Father will play the Public Theater in New York City, in association with American Repertory Theater, Oct. 14–Nov. 16. It will then play at American Repertory Theater in Boston Jan. 23–March 1, 2015.
The chair of the judges committee, Andrew Leynse, said of the plays, “Dan O’Brien’s The Body of an American explores the world of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Paul Watson. In a bold stroke of meta-theatricality, Dan O’Brien has woven himself into the play. We are transported to places all over the world where we find the same two men grappling with art and identity.
“Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) is a tremendously ambitious and transformative piece of theatre. Set in three parts, the play examines the cost of war, slavery and the heartbreak of love.”
The Horton Foote Prize, named after the late playwright, recognizes excellence in the American theatre. The prize, presented biennially, considered productions that played between July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014. Nominating playwrights must have written four original, full-length plays that were produced at professional theatres.