Ngozi Anyanwu Wins Inaugural Humanitas Playwriting Prize

The Southern California actress received $5,000 and development opportunities for her inaugural play.

Ngozi Anyanwu
Ngozi Anyanwu

LOS ANGELES: Center Theatre Group and Humanitas announce that Ngozi Anyanwu has won first place for the inaugural Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize, which recognizes new, unproduced plays written by a Southern California–based writer. Anyanwu was recognized for her play Good Grief, and the award comes with a cash prize of $5,000. The play will be developed by CTG’s literary staff and presented in staged readings at the Humanitas Play Fest, which will run Feb. 12–14.

Good Grief is about a first-generation Nigerian girl. If a Southern California theatre premieres Good Grief, that theatre will also receive $5,000 towards the production. Anyanwu is an actress, writer, and producer. She is the founder of the 1st Generation Nigerian Project. Good Grief is her first play. “I’m excited for the support that an institution can bring, and I’m interested in seeing what that means for the play,” said Anyanwu in a statement.

In second place for the prize was Dan O’Brien and third place was Louisa Hill; both received $2,000. O’Brien was recognized for his play, The House in Scarsdale, in which a playwright interviews lost relatives to find the answer to why his family fell apart. Hill’s play, Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers, is a contemporary reimagining of the Demeter and Persephone myth.

CTG received more than 234 submissions for the prize. “I think it’s particularly exciting for audiences to see work created by artists who live in their own communities and who also often write about their own communities,” said CTG’s director of new play development Pier Carlo Talenti in a statement. “Theatre suddenly has a particularly special relevance when that happens.”

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