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Plays & Playwrights

Awards and opportunities nationwide.

City Living and Other Winning Topics

Brownstone, a musical that follows the lives of five residents of a New York apartment building during one year of city living, has won the 1984 Richard Rodgers Production Award of $65,000. A collaboration by Andrew Cadiff, Peter Larson and Josh Rubins, the musical is running at New York’s Hudson Guild Theatre through June 17 under Cadiff’s direction.

Brownstone is the third work to receive the Rodgers production award, which is presented by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Papushko, a fantasy about modern life in Brooklyn written by Andrew Teirstein, will receive a $10,000 development grant in Rodgers’ name, being awarded by the Institute for the first time this year. The funds will be applied toward the cost of a staged reading at New York’s Musical Theatre Project.

Eleven-Zulu, a murder drama by Patrick Sean Clark set at a Vietnam army base, won the National Playwriting Award of the American College Theatre Festival in April. Clark, a student at the University of Missouri, earned a $2,500 cash award and a contract with William Morris Agency, which sponsors the award, as well as membership in the Dramatists Guild and publication of the play by Samuel French. Eleven-Zulu also won two other ACTF awards-the McDonald’s/Lorraine Hansberry Award ($2,500) for a play about the black experience in America and the David Library Award of American Freedom ($1,000)—marking the first time a single play has taken all three prizes.

Christopher Humble’s The Flight of the Earls is the $2.500 first-place winner in Theatre Memphis’ 1983-84 New Play Competition. The play, set in contemporary Ireland, will be produced on the theatre’s mainstage this season.

Burial Customs, a comedy by Phoef Sutton about a iazz musician turned funeral parlor director, won the $1,000 Forest A. Roberts/Shiras Institute Playwriting Award Competition for 1984. The play was mounted in April at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

Playwright Romulus Linney was awarded one of eight $5,000 prizes from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The awards are designed to “encourage writers in their creative efforts.” Massachusetts Artists Fellowships in the same amount went to playwrights Eugene G. Barber and Cynthia Jahn.

Other recent award-winners include Patty Gideon Sloan for Man Enough, which took the Country Playhouse of Houston’s $350 playwriting award; and Beverly Shatto for Peck’s Bad Girls, which won $200 and a production at the Open Circle Theatre in Baltimore.

Who’s Who?

Among this year’s selections for Theatre Communications Group’s Plays in Process script series is Deborah Pryor’s Burrhead, a poetic rendering of a young girl’s sexual initiation, nominated by New Playwrights’ Theatre in Washington, D.C. Above, Marcia Gay Harden as the heroine fantasizes a meeting with The Twins (Connie Fowlkes and Dale Stein, right or left as the case may be). Also forthcoming in the PIP series are Amlin Gray’s immigrant epic Kingdom Come, developed at Milwaukee Repertory Theater; William Stancil’s The Splintered Wood, which centers on a World War I shellshock victim, another Milwaukee Rep nominee; and Adele Edling Shank’s The Grass House, a satire set on a marijuana farm, first produced by the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. The script series is available by subscription from TCG.

Writers’ Update

The Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts in Albany has announced its first playwriting contest. A cash prize of $2,500 will be given for a full-length play, musical or adaptation of a classic, suitable for a family audience. The submission deadline is Sept. 1 and notification is Dec. 1. A staged reading of the play will be included in ESIPA’s 1985-86 season, and a full production may follow. Literary Manager Barbara R. Maggio can provide further information at ESIPA, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223; (518) 474-1199.

The Detroit Center for the Performing Arts will award $1,000 and a full production to the winner of its National Black Playwriting Contest. Previously unproduced full-length dramas, musicals and comedies that show positive aspects of the black American experience are eligible. Second prize is $500 and a staged reading; third prize is $250 and a workshop reading. July 30 is the submission deadline and winners will be announced Sept. 30. Contact Charles Reed, DCPA, 8041 Harper , Detroit, MI 48213; (313) 925-9292.

Black writers for the theatre are also invited to submit works to the American Place Theatre’s Jubilee program, an annual theatre festival in celebration of Black History Month. At least one full-length play and two or three other works will be staged in February 1985. Submissions should go to Joan Fishman, acting literary manager, American Place Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., New York, NY 10036.

The National Music Theater Network, a New York-based service organization for the creators and producers of opera and musical theatre, is looking for new, completed musical works of all kinds. The group’s first presentation will be held at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia July 13-15. For information and submission instructions contact NMTN, 175 West 13th St. Suite 19-B, New York, NY 10011; (212) 582-5561.

Scripts by Hispanic playwrights are being sought by New York’s INTAR Theatre for its 1984-85 staged reading series. The scripts may be in Spanish or English and may be dramas, comedies, musicals or one-acts. The deadline for fall readings is June 30, but scripts are welcome year-round. They should be submitted to INTAR, 420 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036.

For information on hundreds of contests, grants, awards and other opportunities for playwrights, translators, composers, lyricists and librettists, refer to TCG’s Dramatists Sourcebook. The 1983-84 edition can be ordered for $9.95 plus postage and handling by using the order form in the back of this issue.

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