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A scene from Gina Young's "Femmes: A Tragedy" at Highways in Santa Monica in 2013. (Photo by Erica Rae Brown)

Gina Young Wins the 2014 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award

A lesbian spin on “The Women” takes the top prize for new feminist plays by women.

Gina Young
Gina Young

BOULDER, COLO.: The Women & Theatre Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education has announced the winners of its 2014 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. Femmes by Gina Young took the top prize, with Seamless by Dorinne Kondo, Baby Strike! by Liza Case, Goddess of Mercy by Jenny Connell Davis and Exile is My Home by Domnica Radulescu coming in as runners-up.

The award, founded in 1984, recognizes plays and performance texts created by women that present a feminist perspective and offer significant opportunities for female performers. The award is given annually in memory of playwright Jane Chambers (Last Summer at Bluefish Cove), and consists of free registration, worth $1,000, to attend the Association in Theater in Higher Education’s conference in early August, and a rehearsed reading of the winning piece at that conference.

Young’s Femmes reconceives Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 play The Women as a “contemporary lesbian tragicomedy,” in which a community organizer’s polyamorous girlfriend dumps her overnight for a bartender. Her friends are then forced into a competition with one another, and ultimately discover the ways in which lesbian relationships resemble heterosexual stereotypes. The play had productions in Los Angeles at Highways and at the Lyric-Hyperion Theatre & Cafe with the title Femmes: A Tragedy in 2013.

WTP also recognizes student playwrights. Fuck La Vie D’Artiste by Georgette Kelly was the winner of the Student Jane Chambers Award, and Rust on Bone by Bianca Sams was the runner-up. Fuck La Vie D’Artiste is the story of Zenab, a young aspiring artist who starts speaking to Vincent Van Gogh’s ghost.

WTP is currently taking submissions for the 2015 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award.

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