NEW YORK CITY: The two recipients of the biennial Horton Foote Prize have been announced. The 2016 Prize for Outstanding New American Play will go to Jordan Harrison for Marjorie Prime. The 2016 Prize for Promising New American Play will go to Zayd Dohrn for The Profane. Each award comes with $20,000.
“The two plays we have recognized with this prestigious award share something essential with its namesake, which is a deeply compassionate examination of the human condition,” said Stockard Channing in a statement. Channing is the chair of the judging panel for the prize. “Marjorie Prime and The Profane echo Horton Foote’s interest in the challenges, disappointments, loss, and grief that we all face in life —all the challenges and sorrows that come at you, as Horton Foote once said. Each in his distinctive voice, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Dohrn have created altogether contemporary works that resonate with those of Horton Foote—and with the world we live in today.”
The playwrights will be honored at a private reception on Oct. 24 at the Lotos Club, where they will also be presented with a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote.
Harrison and Dohrn were nominated by Center Theatre Group (CTG) in Los Angeles and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, respectively. Marjorie Prime had its world premiere at CTG and was a 2015 Pulitzer finalist. The futuristic play follows 85-year-old Marjorie who receives an AI companion who looks like her deceased husband.
The Profane will receive its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons (March 17-April 9, 2017). The play follows a first-generation immigrant, whose daughter falls in love with the son of a conservative Muslim family.
The Horton Foote Prize is funded by the Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation of Austin. Previous recipients include Lynn Nottage, Will Eno, David Lindsay-Abaire, Naomi Wallace, Dan O’Brien, and Suzan-Lori Parks. The prize is named after Pulitzer-winning playwright Horton Foote. This year also marks the centenary of Foote’s birth.