NATIONWIDE: The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) has named playwright Lauren Yee as the recipient of the 2016 Francesca Primus Prize for her play in a word. Yee will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and will be recognized at the upcoming ATCA conference in San Francisco .
The award, copresented by the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, honors the late writer, critic, dramaturg, and performer. The prize is given annually to an emerging female playwright. Yee was selected from a pool of 26 applicants by a nationwide committee of critics chaired by Barbara Bannon, including Julie York Coppens, Marianne Evett, Kerry Reid, Lynn Rosen, and Herb Simpson.
“The Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation was established to recognize and support emerging women artists who are making a difference in the theatre community in which they work,” said Barry Primus, the administrator of the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, in a statement.
Yee’s play in a word follows a couple as they cope with the loss of their 7-year-old adopted son who was kidnapped. Her other works include Ching Chong Chinaman, The Hatmaker’s Wife, Hookman, King of the Yees, and Samsara. She is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, an associate member of the Dramatists Guild, and a playwriting module mentor at Northwestern University. She served as a Playwrights’ Center Core Writer and playwright-in-residence at both the Chance Theater and Second Stage Theatre. Her work has been commissioned, developed, and produced at theatres including South Coast Rep, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Trinity Repertory Company, Portland Center Stage, Mixed Blood Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, Goodman Theatre, and Encore Theatre Company. She received her B.A. in theatre studies and English from Yale and her MFA in playwriting from the University of California—San Diego.