NEW YORK CITY: The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, given to an unproduced, full-length play by an emerging American playwright in honor of the late Arthur Laurents and his partner Tom Hatcher. American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown and Dry Powder by Sarah Burgess have tied for the award. The producing theatres of these shows, Barrington Stage Company and the Public Theater, will each receive $50,000 toward the costs of the premiere productions. Demos-Brown and Burgess will each receive $25,000.
“The quality of work was so high this year, it’s the first time there has been a tie for the award,” said David Saint, president of the foundation, in a statement. “These are two wonderful plays about highly relevant topics—race relations and the world of high finance.”
Demos-Brown’s play American Son is about the racial divide in America as seen through a biracial couple The play will premiere at Barrington Stage Company (June 17—July 9), under the direction of artistic director Julianne Boyd. Demos-Brown’s play Fear Up Harsh received a Steinberg Award citation, and his play When the Sun Shone Brighter received the 2011 Carbonell Award for Best New Work, and the 2010 Silver Palm Award for Outstanding New Work. Other plays include Captiva and Our Lady of Allapattah. Demo-Brown cofounded Zoetic Stage in Miami with his wife in 2010.
Burgess’s Dry Powder, about the American economy, will premiere at the Public Theater under the direction of Thomas Kail beginning March 1. She has written for the Tenant (Woodshed Collective), and the Naked Angels’ monthly podcast series called “Naked Radio.” She has been a writer-in-residence at both the Cape Cod Theatre Project and at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Burgess is a member of the WP Playwrights Lab, and is an Ars Nova Play Group alum.