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Plays & Playwrights

Prizes and submission opportunities.

Winning Writers

Michael Brady, author of To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, has won this year’s George Oppenheimer/Newsday Playwriting Award, given to “the best new American playwright whose work is produced in New York City or on Long Island.” Brady’s play, an exploration of the grief and dislocations that attend a death in the family, was first produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, and later moved to Circle in the Square Downtown.

Previous winners of the award, which carries a prize of $1,000, include Harry Kondoleon, Harvey Fierstein, Beth Henley, James Lapine and Marsha Norman. The selection committee also voted a special award to the Young Playwrights Festival, which is sponsored by the Foundation of the Dramatists Guild and was staged this year at the New York Shakespeare Festival.

The Adventures of Stanley Tomorrow by Alan Foster Friedman has been awarded the $1,000 first prize in Illinois State University’s Playwrights Competition. Set in 1943 in Los Angeles, the play is about, says the playwright, “the virtue of lying.” The ISU production of Friedman’s play is scheduled to open on Oct. 5, and will serve as the university’s entry in the American College Theatre Festival.

For the second straight year, Welsh playwright Christopher Short, now 23, has won first prize in the Texaco playwriting competition for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, submitting this year’s entry under a pseudonym. Launched last year to stimulate the writing of plays for large casts of young actors, the competition awards a prize of £3,000. Short’s play A Credit to the Force, dealing with the police and society, will be performed by the National Youth Theatre next season.

Brief Encounter

George Catalano and Jayne Muirhead are among a dozen characters who meet by chance at a Munich festival in the Empty Space of Seattle’s production of Odon von Horvath’s Oktoberfest. First staged in 1932, the play was the last work of the great Austro-Hungarian ironist performed in Germany before the Nazi takeover closed the stage to him. Roger Downey’s translation of the play is the latest selection for Theatre Communications Group’s Plays in Process script series. Also forthcoming in the series, which is available by subscription, will be Eduardo Machado’s Broken Eggs, nominated by New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, a comedy about an upper middle-class Cuban family in Los Angeles; and John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, nominated by New York’s Circle in the Square, an account of the combative barroom encounter of two troubled individuals who end up falling in love.

Playwrights’ Update

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music is now accepting applications for its 1985 grant awards. The foundation supports work relating to the German composer in six categories: research grants, publication assistance, performance and production grants, travel grants, dissertation fellowships, and translations and adaptations. The deadline for applying is Dec. 15. For further information contact David Farneth, Archivist/Director of Programs, Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, 142 West End Ave., Suite 1-R, New York, NY 10023; (212) 873-1465.

The O’Neill Theater Center’s National Opera/Music Theater Conference has announced that new works will now be accepted for consideration on a year-round basis and will be reviewed three times a year, in December, March and June. The conference takes place annually in May and June. Obtain application forms by contacting Marilyn Glassman, National Opera/Music Theater Conference, O’Neill Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Rd., Waterford, CT 06385; (203) 443-5378.

ACE-Charlotte’s Repertory Theatre, a LORT company in North Carolina, is seeking submissions for its first annual New Plays Festival, to take place in the spring of 1985. The festival is especially looking for full-length plays with political and social impact, and plays which expand the vocabulary of the theatre, but will consider any style and subject matter. Submit scripts by Dec. 15 to Michael Medeiros, C/o Seven Arts, 110 West 40th St., New York, NY 10018.

For information on hundreds of contests, grants, awards and other opportunities for playwrights, translators, composers, lyricists and librettists, refer to TCC’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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