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Amy Newman and Sara Bruner in "Roe" at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. (Photo by Jenny Graham)

Lisa Loomer Wins 2017 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama

She was recognized for her play ‘Roe,’ about the Roe v. Wade case.

ASHLAND, ORE.: PEN Center USA has named Lisa Loomer the recipient of its 2017 Literary Award for Drama for her play Roe. The award ceremony will be held on Oct. 27 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in California.

Commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of the company’s American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle program, Roe is about Norma McCorvey, the original Jane Roe, and Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court in 1972. The case subsequently made abortion legal nationwide.

“Like so many of its fellow American Revolutions plays, Roe electrified and moved audiences in Ashland and across the country,” said OSF artistic director Bill Rauch in a statement. “We are so proud of Lisa receiving this prestigious honor for her groundbreaking new play that speaks to audience members on all sides of such a polarizing issue.”

The next American Revolutions commission to be produced at OSF will be the 2018 world premiere of Idris Goodwin’s The Way the Mountain Moved, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

“The PEN award is especially meaningful, because they have a history of supporting writers speaking truth to power, particularly in repressive regimes,” said Loomer in a statement. “I’m also looking forward to meeting Margaret Atwood and Cecile Richards at this year’s ceremony—women I so admire!”

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