Columbia University and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith announced the inaugural recipients of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for drama inspired by American history. Dan O’Brien and Robert Schenkkan will share the prize, for The Body of an American and All the Way, respectively. Each will receive $50,000 and a website dedicated to his play.
Annie Baker received the 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in March for The Flick, which came with $25,000 and a signed print by Willem de Kooning. The prize finalists, who each received $2,500, were Amy Herzog for Belleville, Laura Marks for Bethany, Jenny Schwartz for Somewhere Fun, Francine Volpe for The Good Mother, Karen Ardiff for The Goddess of Liberty, Jean Betts for Genesis Falls, Deborah Bruce for The Distance, Katherine Chandler for Before It Rains and Dawn King for Foxfinder.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins was presented in April with the first-ever Tennessee Williams Award from the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. The honor for emerging playwrights came with a $10,000 grant.
A Contemporary Theatre’s New Play Award has been given to Mark Jenkins for his play Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky. Jenkins received $2,500 and will get two staged readings at the Seattle theatre in July. ACT will also present his play in its 2014 season.
The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle held its 44th annual ceremony in March, honoring Los Angeles and Orange County theatre. Center Theatre Group won 10 awards, including excellent season and writing (for Danai Gurira’s The Convert). Also, Deaf West Theatre and Fountain Theatre’s co-production of Cyrano won for best production, lead performance (Troy Kotsur), direction (Simon Levy) and adaptation (Stephen Sachs).
At the GLAAD Media Awards in March—which recognize media portrayals of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community—Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale won the award for outstanding New York theatre (Broadway and Off Broadway). Michael Perlman’s From White Plains received the New York theatre award for Off-Off Broadway.
Theatre Development Fund has announced the winners of its 2013 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards, for costume design, which will be presented in May. Desmond Heeley will receive the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for excellence in theatre design; David Toser will accept the lifetime achievement award; Daniel Lawson will receive the Young Master Award and jewelry designer Lawrence Vrba will receive the Artisan Award.
The League of Chicago Theatres will hold its 2013 Spring Gala in May at which Jeff Perry will receive the Tribute Award; Writers’ Theatre artistic director Michael Halberstam will receive the Artistic Leadership Award; and the Jeff Committee will receive the inaugural Theatre Advocacy Award.
Arden Theatre Company of Philadelphia has named Rachel Bonds its new Writers’ Room resident. Bonds’s residency began in March and will culminate in the debut of a new play at Arden in July.
Castillo Theatre of New York City will hold its 15th annual Otto Awards in May, honoring political theatre practitioners. The awardees will be Spiderwoman Theater, SITI Company, Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, and playwright Richard Wesley.
Florida Studio Theatre was presented with the 2013 WEDU Be More Knowledgeable Award at the WEDU Be More Awards ceremony in February. The prize recognized FST’s WRITE A PLAY program, for grades K-12.