jakub | November 24, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | This Week in Theatre Awards: Vogel, O’Donnell, EST/Sloan, and More


Mara Nelson-Greenberg, Josiah Davis, Rudi Goblen, Dustin H. Chinn, Jacob G. Padrón, a.k. payne, Deaf West Theatre, Isabel Pask, Joshua Castille, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” Brysen Boyd, Will Dagger, Avery Deutsch, Ryan Dowler, Miz Hashimoto, Divya Mangwani, Laura Neill, Juan Ramirez, Jr., Billy Recce, Elise Wien, Liqing Xu, and Gracie Leavitt.

The Vineyard Theatre will present the 2023 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award during the company’s Emerging Artists Celebration on Fri., Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the National Arts Club. Vogel, Stroman, and Domingo will be in attendance. Mara Nelson-Greenberg will receive the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Josiah Davis will receive the Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Rudi Goblen will receive the Colman Domingo Award. The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award is given annually to an exceptionally promising early career writer. The award includes a cash prize, a yearlong residency to develop new work, as well as writing space, readings, workshops, and ongoing dramaturgical support. The Susan Stroman Directing Award and residency is given biennially to a talented early or mid-career director to develop new work while in residence. The Colman Domingo Award is bestowed annually to a multi-faceted Black male or male-identifying theatre artist to provide support and resources to create new work. Recipients get a cash stipend, workshops and other developmental opportunities, access to writing and studio space, mentorship, and the ongoing support of the Vineyard.


Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have announced the EST/Sloan Project commissions for the 2023-2024 season. This initiative seeks to stimulate artists to create credible and compelling work exploring the worlds of science and technology and to challenge the existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. This year’s grant recipients are Brysen Boyd (POD:ORCA:POD), Will Dagger (Epitaph of Utopia), Avery Deutsch (The Age of Mary), Ryan Dowler (ROACH), Miz Hashimoto (The Bees Call Me Eva), Divya Mangwani (Indus), Laura Neill (C-WIID: A Comedy!), Juan Ramirez Jr. (Of Great Magnitude, or The Earthquake Play), Billy Recce and Elise Wien (GUANOMANIA!: A Musical Shit Show), Liqing Xu (Untitled Epigenetics Play), and Gracie Leavitt with Media Art Xploration, Inc. (When Light Bends). Applications for next year’s EST/Sloan play commissions will be accepted through Dec. 15.


The Entertainment Community Fund and Playwrights Horizons have selected playwright Dustin H. Chinn to be the 2023 recipient of the Mark O’Donnell Prize. Named in honor of the award-winning writer, the annual prize is presented to an emerging theatre artist in recognition of their talent and promise. The award includes a cash prize of $20,000, use of the Mark O’Donnell Theater for one week to develop a reading of a new work; as well as counseling on affordable housing and health insurance from the Entertainment Community Fund.


The National Theatre Conference, a nonprofit membership organization made up of distinguished theatre professionals and academics, has announced its 2023 award recipients. Jacob G. Padrón is NTC’s Person of the Year, Deaf West Theatre has received the Outstanding Theater Award, and a.k. payne has won the Bernie and Bernard Stavis Playwriting Award for Furlough’s Paradise. The Stavis Award comes with a $2,000 honorarium and a public reading of the winning play, to take place during the National Theatre Conference (Dec. 1-3) in New York City. Directed by Tamilla Woodard, the reading will be Fri., Dec. 1, at 2:00 p.m. at The Players Club. Padrón has chosen Isabel Pask to receive the Paul Green Award, and Deaf West artistic director David Kurs has selected Joshua Castille to receive the Emerging Professional Award.


The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), The Music Man Foundation (TMMF), and Music Theatre International (MTI) have announced 16 recipients of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” Grants, a total of $160,000 awarded to high school theatre programs nationwide to allow them to mount productions of the newly revised version of the classic Meredith Willson and Richard Morris property. The winning schools include Aloha High School in Beaverton, Ore.; Arts High School in Newark, N.J.; Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School in Omaha, Neb.; Byng High School in Byng, Okla.; Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, Texas; Columbus School for Girls in Columbus, Ohio; Garden City High School in Garden City, Kans.; Grants Pass High School in Grants Pass, Ore.; Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, Pa.; Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls in Philadelphia; Maryvale Preparatory School in Lutherville, Md; Morris Area High School in Morris, Minn.; Seaside High School in Seaside, Calif.; Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati; and Woodmont High School in Piedmont, S.C. Additional grants are set to be awarded in the spring of 2024 after a second round of submissions.

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