NEW YORK CITY: Playwright Nicholas Wright has selected Emily Schwend as the recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award for her play Utility, chosen from more than 1,600 submissions. She will receive the $10,000 David Charles Horn Prize, publication of Utility by Yale University Press, and a staged reading of the play at Lincoln Center Theater’s Claire Tow Theater. The runner–ups for this year’s award are Sarah DeLappe for The Wolves and Nina Segal for In the Night Time.
“I am extremely proud of the winning play and welcoming Emily Schwend into the Yale Drama Series family of winners,” said Francine Horn, president of David Charles Horn Foundation, in a statement. “ Her sensitive play portrays great skill. She truly captures the pain and resolve of a young woman trapped in a lifestyle that she did not expect. Three children. Cheating husband. Two jobs. Exhausted and overwhelmed but resolute.”
The winner is selected each year by one distinguished playwright; Wright has served as the sole judge for 2015 and 2016. Submissions for the prize must be original, unpublished, full-length, and in English. The Yale Drama Series is funded by the David Charles Horn Foundation, established in 2003 by his wife to honor Horn’s unrealized ambition of having his writing published.
Schwend’s plays include Utility (The Amoralists), The Other Thing (Uptown Series at Second Stage Theatre), Take Me Back (Walkerspace, The Poor Theatre), South of Settling (Next Up Rep at Steppenwolf), and Splinters (CUDC Source Festival). Her work has been developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, Lake George Theater Lab, Page 73 Productions, and the Old Vic/New Voices festival, among others. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Tow Foundation playwriting residency at Second Stage Theatre, an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan new play commission, the Lecomte du Nouy Prize, a MacDowell Fellowship, the 2013 Heideman Prize, the 2011 ACT New Play Award, and the 2009 David Calicchio Emerging American Playwrights Prize. She studied playwriting at Juilliard and New York University.
“I am honored to add my name to the list of talented and daring playwrights who have won the Yale Drama Series award, a list full of stories by and about women,” Schwend said in a statement.