MILL VALLEY, CALIF.: Marin Theatre Company has announced Antoinette Nwandu as the 2017 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize winner for her play Pass Over, and Audrey Cefaly as the 2017 David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize winner for her play Alabaster.
Nwandu will receive $10,000 and a developmental workshop as part of MTC’s annual New Play Reading Series. Additionally, her play Pass Over will be considered under option for a full production on MTC’s main stage. Established by Norton J. “Sky” Cooper in 2007, the Sky Cooper Prize is awarded annually to either an established or emerging playwright for an outstanding new work. Cefaly will receive $2,500 and Alabaster will have two public staged readings at MTC as part of the company’s annual New Play Reading Series. In addition to the cash prize, the award covers Cefaly’s travel and accommodations for the show’s rehearsal period at MTC. The Calicchio Prize is given each year to a professionally unproduced playwright for a new work that “shows outstanding promise and a distinctive new voice” for U.S. theatre.
“I’m so grateful to the folks at Marin Theatre Company for opening this door for me,” Nwandu said in a statement, “the prize money alone is a blessing. But the recognition of my work and introduction to this theatre community feels like a gift that’s going to keep on giving.”
Regarding the Calicchio Prize, Cefaly said in a statement, “It’s a wonderful affirmation of the ongoing work I’ve been doing to bring Alabama voices to the stage.” She added, “I’m really looking forward to meeting the creative team at MTC to see how we can develop the work further.”
Marin Theatre Company, founded in 1966, dedicates each six-production season to new American plays. The two annual awards are part of the organization’s New Play Program, which also includes stagings of world premieres and readings and workshops of works by the nation’s emerging and established playwrights.