INDEPENDENCE, KANS.: The William Inge Center for the Arts has announced that playwrights Gina Femia and Lynn Nottage will be honored during the 39th annual Inge Festival, May 14-16, at Independence Community College in Independence. Femia will receive the Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award while Nottage will receive the festival’s Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award.
“We’re thrilled to recognize Gina’s attuned and courageous storytelling, which examines our societal stigmas and norms through the voices of characters that often go unheard, and ultimately offers us hope,” said William Inge Center for the Arts producing artistic director Hannah Joyce in a statement.
According to the organization, the award, named after theatre critic and scholar Otis L. Guernsey, “recognizes substantial early contributions to the contemporary American stage.”
Femia, whose work totals more than 30 full-length plays, holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a 2019-22 Core Writer with the Playwrights Center, a member of Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Plays Lab, and a member of Parsnip Ship’s Radio Roots Writer’s group. Her award-winning play Allond(R)a is included on the 2019 Kilroys List.
Nottage, as the festival honoree, joins past winners, including Octavio Solis, Christopher Durang, David Henry Hwang, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Tina Howe, Stephen Sondheim, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, and August Wilson.
Named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, the William Inge Theater Festival was founded in 1981 at Independence Community College. The William Inge Collection, housed at the Inge Center for the Arts, contains correspondence, original artwork, and original manuscripts, in addition to Inge’s personal book and record collections.