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Plays & Playwrights

Awards and opportunities nationwide (and beyond).

FDG/CBS Winners Announced

The five theatres participating in this season’s FDGICBS New Plays Program, funded by CBS and administered by the Foundation of The Dramatists Guild, have chosen their award-winning scripts. The five selected playwrights each receive $5,000 and will have their plays produced in the spring of 1985, with the help of a $13,000 production grant to each theatre.

Albany’s Capital Repertory Company will produce Lynne Alvarez’s The Wonderful Tower of Humbert Lavoignet. The Magic Theatre of San Francisco has selected Neon Psalms by Thomas Strelich. Side Effects by Bayldone Coakley has been chosen by the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays. The Salt Lake Acting Company’s winner is In a Coal Burning House by Jeffrey Kinghorn. Allan Havis’ Morocco is the choice of Norfolk’s Virginia Stage Company.

In addition, each theatre selected two plays for $1,000 honorable mention awards: Rameau Labesque by John Heuer and Dusky Sally by Granville Burgess (Capital); Wild Indian by Theodore Shank and Bully by Paul D’Andrea (Magic); Solo Flight by John Reaves and Preemies by Robert Clyman (Philadelphia); Finish Lines by Karolyn Nelke and The Home Front by Greg Hunnicut (Salt Lake); and Wetter than Water by Deborah Pryor and Sember Fi by Michael Brady (Virginia).

Winning Writers 

The National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Program has announced 16 fellowships for playwrights during 1984-85. The funding total of $306,250 includes $2,500 for each grantee to use in defraying costs of a residency at a professional theatre of the playwright’s choice. Maria Irene Fornes and Richard Nelson were singled out for $37,500 two-year fellowships. One-year awards ranging from $13,125 to $20,000 went to Neal Bell, Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller (for a team project), Roger Hedden, Gary Leon Hill, Tina Howe, Harry Kondoleon, Charles Ludlam, Ronald Scott Milner, OyamO, Keith Reddin, John Patrick Shanley, Jeffrey Wanshel, Samm-Art Williams and James Yoshimura.

In addition, the NEA Theatre Program has awarded two fellowships for translators. Joanne Pottlitzer received $12,500 to translate Mario Vargas Llosa’s Kathie y el hipopotamo (Kathie and the Hippopotamus), and a $6,250 grant went to Richard Wiltshire for a verse translation of Molière’s Les Fâcheux (The Pests).

Lynne Alvarez has been awarded this year’s $5,000 grant from the Lecomte du Noüy Foundation for The Wonderful Tower of Humbert Lavoignet, which the author describes as “a superreal tragicomedy about a man who talks to God.” The purpose of the foundation’s award is to aid a young writer of promise with an original, unconventional voice.

Nancy Donahue has won the second annual $2,500 Playwright Award given by American Broadcasting Companies. Her winning play The Beach House, a romantic comedy depicting the dilemmas facing a modern woman in love, was originally produced at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven in 1980. A Circle Repertory Company production is planned.

To assist works in progress, the Drama League of New York has awarded $1,000 grants to Jack Feldman, John Heuer, Kathleen Kahill, Craig Lucas, Susan Rivers, Martin Sherman and Bruce Sussman.

Elsa Rael has won the $1,000 prize offered by the Atlanta Children’s Theatre Guild Playwriting Contest with Mateo and the Genie, about a young boy having trouble in school who finds help when a genie enters his life.

Playwrights’ Update

An English language playreading series called Jeu Lu will be held in conjunction with this year’s Avignon Drama Festival in France. March 15 is the deadline for submission of manuscripts to the series, which is in its second year. The festival runs from July 8-27.

Jehanne Tessa, director of the Atelier Théâtre Bilingue in Avignon, is coordinator of the reading series. “We do not seek a particular type of script, but the story should be understandable to an international audience,” she noted. The readings are part of a wide array of Avignon events.

Submission guidelines are available from Atelier Théâtre Bilingue, 332 Rossiter Ave., Baltimore, MD 21212. Submissions should be accompanied by a $15 readers’ fee.

A deadline of Feb. 23 has been announced for applications to the Yellow Spring Institute’s 1985 Performing Arts Laboratories in Chester Springs, Penn. Performance art and interdisciplinary projects involving theatre are among the kinds of work developed during one-week guest residencies for individuals and companies of up to six members. For information contact the Institute, Art School Rd., Chester Springs, PA 19425; (215) 827-9111.

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 1984-85 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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