NEW YORK CITY: Mari Marchbanks, founder and executive director of Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation, has announced that the 2020 Horton Foote Prize has been awarded to Lloyd Suh for his play The Chinese Lady. Suh will be celebrated at a private online reception on Sept. 13 and will receive a $50,000 cash prize and a limited edition photograph of Horton Foote by Keith Carter.
Awarded since 2010, the biennial prize is named in honor of the late playwright and recognizes excellence in American theatre. The Chinese Lady was nominated for the Horton Foote Prize by Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York City and selected from a pool of submissions from more than 70 theatres across the country. After multiple blind readings, a selection committee chose the winning script.
The four judges of the 2020 Horton Foote Prize are award-winning actor, and daughter of Horton Foote, Hallie Foote, serving as chair; Playwrights Horizons artistic director Adam Greenfield; Baltimore Center Stage artistic director Stephanie Ybarra; and award-winning playwright and director Chay Yew.
The play, which was commissioned by Ma-Yi Theater Company, tells the story of Afong May, America’s first female Chinese immigrant, who was put on display for the American public in a sideshow.
“Told with humanity and humor, this play haunted me,” said Hallie Foote in a statement. “Lloyd Suh explores memory, and longing, loss and fortitude. He gently makes us think, ponder and examine our beliefs and all the things we take for granted.”
Suh is the also author of Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Franklinland, Jesus in India, among others. His work has been produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NAATCO, Milwaukee Rep, PlayCo, Denver Center, ArtsEmerson, Children’s Theatre Co, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, Mellon Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild. He is an alum of EST’s Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, was a recipient of a 2016 Helen Merrill Award, the 2019 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship. From 2005 to 2010 he served as artistic director of Second Generation and co-director of the May-Yi Writers Lab, and from 2011-20 as the director of artistic programs at the Lark. He was elected in 2015 as a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.
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