NEW YORK CITY: Tony-nominated playwright Christina Anderson has been named the 2022 recipient of the annual Horton Foote Prize for her play the ripple, the wave that carried me home. The award recognizes excellence in American theatre in the name of the late Pulitzer-winning playwright.
In an in-person celebration on Oct. 24, Anderson will be presented with award, and will receive $50,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote. She will be presented the award by Pulitzer-winning playwrights Paula Vogel and Lynn Nottage, who have also served as Anderson’s teachers and mentors.
The ripple, the wave that carried me home is one women’s account of her family’s role in the political fight for the integration of swimming pools in Kansas in the 1960s. Commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, it was co-nominated by Berkeley Rep and the Goodman Theatre. The play is now in its world premiere at Berkeley Rep through Oct. 26, with productions to follow at Oregon’s Portland Center Stage in October, Chicago Goodman’s Theatre in January 2023, Kansas City Rep in March 2023, and Yale Rep in April 2023.
Said judge chair Sharon Washington in a statement, “I was immediately struck by the poetry of Christina’s play. ‘I inherited the weight of water. The heaviness, the consequence of it — not the joy.’ What do you do with dreams that are not your own? What is your responsibility to the community? To yourself? Her words flow over and through you, carrying us on a beautifully sensory experience that lingers long after the last word is spoken. Completely compelling. Bravo!”
The celebration will also include the inaugural Horton Foote Prize Gratitude Gift, which will award a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has a positive impact through the work of the theatre, as chosen by the honorary chair. The first $10,000 gift will be awarded to Theatre Gap Initiative, a college-prep program for high school grads planning to apply for Bachelor of Fine Arts and conservatory programs. The intention is to award to a Black, Indigenous, or person-of-color student from an economically challenged background. Theatre Gap Initiative offers students intensive training in acting, dance, and voice and guidance through the college application process. The program is being led by theatre educator Corey Mitchell.
Anderson was selected based on an artistic judges panel that included playwright Sharon Washington; artistic director of New York Stage and Film, Christopher Burney; scenic designer Wilson Chin; and freelance director and theatre consultant Seema Sueko.
Anderson is a playwright, screenwriter, and educator, and was nominated for a 2022 Tony Award for co-writing the book of the Broadway musical Paradise Square. Other plays written by Anderson include How to Catch Creation, pen/man/ship, Man in Love, and Good Goods. Anderson’s work has appeared at the Goodman Theatre, the Public Theater, and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. Select awards include the 2021 Prince Prize, United States Artists Fellow, and the MacDowell Fellowship. Anderson has also taught playwriting at Rutgers University, Wesleyan University, David Geffen School of Drama, and SUNY Purchase College, and she served as the interim head of playwrighting at Brown University.
The Horton Foote Prize is founded and funded by the Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation of Austin.
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