Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 has won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for plays inspired by American history. Morisseau will receive $100,000 and a custom-designed website featuring study guides, historical research and scholarly interpretations of the play. The Kennedy Prize finalists were Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins , Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, Party People by UNIVERSES, and the road weeps, the well runs dry by Marcus Gardley.
The 33rd William Inge Theatre Festival and Conference in March honored playwright Arthur Kopit with the Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. In addition, Mat Smart won the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award. Smart’s newest play The Great Barrier was presented at the festival.
The 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize was awarded in February to U.K. playwright Lucy Kirkwood for her play Chimerica. She received $25,000 and a signed Willem de Kooning print. The U.S. finalists in the competition, for female playwrights worldwide who have written English-language plays, were Sheila Callaghan, Lauren Gunderson and Theresa Rebeck. They each received $2,500.
The American Theatre Wing presented its 2014 Jonathan Larson Grants for emerging musical–theatre writers in April. The recipients were Sara Cooper and Zach Redler, and Shaina Taub. Each writing team received $12,500.
At the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Ky., in April, the American Theatre Critics Association presented playwright Topher Payne with the 2014 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright, for his LGBT-themed play Perfect Arrangement. The award carries a $1,000 prize.
People’s Light & Theatre in Chester County, Penn., has named the inaugural artists in its New Plays Frontiers Residencies & Commissions. Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Kate Fodor, Karen Hartman, Dominique Morisseau and Kathryn Peterson will develop work at the theatre inspired by the local community. Workshops will be held in the 2014–15 season and one of the plays will be produced in People’s Light’s 2015–16 season.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival was held in April in Washington, D.C., recognizing aspiring playwrights still in college or university. Jeff Augustin and Brian Polak each won $1,000 for their plays; Michael Yichao and Kristin Idaszak each won $500.
In Austin, Southern Methodist University School of the Arts theatre professor Blake Hackler has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant. The prize will allow him to be in residence at New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2015, where he will teach and direct theatre, and collaborate with Sfumato Theatre Laboratory.
American Blues Theater in Chicago has given its annual Blue Ink Playwriting Award for new work to Douglas Post, for his play Comden Mall Community Activists. Post will receive $1,000 as well as developmental support and a staged reading at American Blues Theater.
Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California has announced the 30 artists who will participate in its third annual Ground Floor summer residency. The artists will congregate in Berkeley for a four-week development laboratory. The artists include Annie Baker, Colman Domingo, Dave Malloy, John Leguizamo and Kara Lee Corthron.
Six artists have been commissioned by Seattle Repertory Theatre’s New Play Program. They are Braden Abraham, Justin Huertas, Jerry Manning, Lisa Peterson, David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright, and Cheryl L. West. Four of these artists will receive workshops and readings at SRT’s 2014 New Play Festival.
Performance Space 122 in New York City has chosen the inaugural artists of its multidisciplinary RAMP residency program for early-career artists. Kaneza Schaal will be the sole resident in theatre, and she will receive developmental support for her first full-length piece inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
The League of Professional Theatre Women in New York City held its annual awards celebration in March. The honorees were Zoe Caldwell for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Judith Dolan for the Ruth Morley Design Award, Sondra Gorney for the Special Award, Katherine Kovner for the Lucille Lortel Award, Joanna Sherman for the Lee Reynolds Award and Meiyin Wang for the Abady Award.
In May, New Dramatists will present director/choreographer Susan Stroman with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the playwriting organization’s annual spring luncheon tribute. Snippets from Stroman’s work will be presented at the gathering.
Peninsula Players Theatre received the Governor’s Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism in March. The award was presented to the company by Governor Scott Walker.