INDEPENDENCE, KANS.: The William Inge Theater Festival will honor playwright Lauren Gunderson with the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award. The festival, which runs April 19-22, will celebrate the playwright’s works, with Gunderson joining other special guests including Mia Dillon, Keir Dullea, and this year’s festival honoree, Beth Henley.
“Receiving the Otis Guernsey award is such a moving honor for me,” said Gunderson in a statement. “The people who have been recognized with the Guernsey Award in the past are visionaries in the field, and I can only begin to describe the compliment of being now among them. Thank you to the William Inge Center for the Arts for all your do for plays and playwrights.”
The award is peer-nominated and reviewed by a panel of theatre professionals. As the winner, Gunderson will present a concert of her new play Ada and the Engine at the William Inge Theater on April 20.
In addition to the Otis Guernsey Award, Gunderson has received the Lanford Wilson Award and the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, and has been a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the John Gassner Award for Playwriting. Her work has been commissioned, produced, and developed at the Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the O’Neill, the Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, and more.
“It is an honor to welcome Lauren Gunderson to the festival as our New Voices winner,” said Karen Carpenter, artistic director of the Inge Festival, in a statement. “Her work is already shaping theatrical seasons across America. She has won the respect of her peers and audiences alike.”