jakub | December 2, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | This Week in Theatre Awards: Youngblood, Write It Out!, and More


jose sebastian alberdi, Libby Carr, Hanna Novak, Audley Puglisi, Eliana Theologides Rodriguez, Marissa Joyce Stamps, Graham Techler, May Treuhaft-Ali, Matty Mahoski, Beth Henley, Jesse Jae Hoon, Brandy Hoang Collier, Clare Fuyuko Bierman, Erika Ji, and Grace McLean.

NATIONWIDE: Ensemble Studio Theatre has announced eight new members who will participate in its Youngblood program for the 2023-24 season. Those are playwrights jose sebastian alberdi, Libby Carr, Hanna Novak, Audley Puglisi, Eliana Theologides Rodriguez, Marissa Joyce Stamps, Graham Techler, and May Treuhaft-Ali.

The Youngblood program is designed to be a creative home for the next generation of theatre artists.
It provides artistic guidance, peer support, feedback, and a dedicated development environment where playwrights can hone their skills and explore their craft. Participation in the group also comes with industry exposure, professional outreach, and opportunities for production and publication. The new writers will join the 23 returning Youngblood members. This year’s graduating playwrights are Jake Brasch, Jeesun Choi, AJ Clauss, Gracie Gardner, Mona Pirnot, Phaedra Michelle Scott, and Lizzie Stern.


Today, for World AIDS Day, Matty Mahoski has been named the 2023 recipient of the Write It Out! Prize for playwrights living with HIV. In partnership with National Queer Theater, program founder Donja R. Love personally selected Mahoski’s play Un(in)sure after reading the work of four finalists who were chosen by readers from Write It Out! Mahoski will receive a cash prize of $5,000, as well as a year of dramaturgical support to develop a new work in the coming year. The process culminates in an in-person reading of Mahoski’s new work, which will take place in 2024. The goal of WIO! is to use the power of imagination and healing to strengthen the voices of those living with HIV and AIDS and transform the theatrical landscape into a more equitable and stigma-free space.


The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation has announced the recipients of this year’s Idea Awards for Theatre. Three categories of grants are awarded to adventurous new voices in playwriting and musical theatre, as well as accomplished playwrights with visionary achievements. The 2023 Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award will be presented to Beth Henley. This award honors playwrights who have created significant, idea-driven works throughout their career. The recipient of this year’s Ollie New Play Award is Jesse Jae Hoon, and Vivace Musical Theatre Awards will be presented to Brandy Hoang Collier, Clare Fuyuko Bierman, Erika Ji, and Grace McLean. These awards recognize emerging talent and original works with ambitious theatrical ideas. Each award comes with a $25,000 prize and a unique stone statuette hand carved by Bruce Ostler.

The 2023 Idea Awards for Theatre will be presented on Mon., Dec. 4, in a private ceremony. The event will feature live performances by this year’s Vivace Musical Theatre Award winners.


The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) has selected five high schools for the 2023-24 Pathway grant program, an initiative fostering racial equity through school theatre. The program provides $10,000 grants to support impactful productions encouraging dialogue around racial equity. This year’s grant recipients are Alisal High School in Salinas, Calif., presenting La Cortina de la Lechuga; Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts in Miami, presenting School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play; Detroit School of Arts, presenting The Wiz; Eastmoor Academy High School in Columbus, Ohio, presenting The Wiz; and KIPP DC College Preparatory in D.C., presenting Chicago: Teen Edition.

Inspired by the work of late producer Craig Zadan, the Pathway aims to create opportunities for students in communities of color to work with industry professionals while performing works that address issues of diversity and racial equity. Each school will hire at least two professionals of color, who will serve as mentors to students during their productions.

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