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Donald Webber Jr. and Ashley D. Kelley in "Bella" at Dallas Theater Center. (Photo by Karen Almond)

Columbia University Announces Kennedy Prize Finalists

Plays by Ayad Akhtar, Kristen Childs, Lisa Loomer, Dominique Morisseau, and Lauren Yee are up for the award.

NEW YORK CITY: Columbia University has announced the 2018 finalists for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. The finalists were chosen from a pool of nominations, and a jury will meet next month to select a winner. The author of the winning work will receive a cash prize of $100,000 at a ceremony this spring at Columbia University.

The finalists are Junk by Ayad Akhtar, produced by La Jolla Playhouse; Bella: An American Tall Tale by Kirsten Childs, produced by Playwright Horizons; Roe by Lisa Loomer, produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Arena Stage; Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau, produced by Atlantic Theater Company; and King of the Yees by Lauren Yee, produced by Goodman Theatre.

The prize is given annually to a new play or musical that explores part of the history of the United States. Ambassador Kennedy Smith established the awards to commemorate her late brother, Sen. Ted Kennedy.

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