jakub | April 11, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Whiting Awards, Blue Ink Award, and More


NEW YORK CITY: The Whiting Foundation has named the recipients of the 2024 Whiting Awards in fiction, drama, poetry, and nonfiction. This year’s drama winners are Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig. All winners are being honored at a ceremony tonight.

Chowdhury is a Brooklyn-based writer and director from the coast of southern India. He is best known for his play Public Obscenities, which he directed last year at Soho Rep in a co-commission with the National Asian American Theatre Company. Chowdhury is also a Jonathan Larson Grant awardee with composer Laura Grill Jaye; their musical How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia received the 2022 Relentless Award from the American Playwriting Foundation.

Cowhig is best known for her trilogy The China Plays, which were recently published by Methuen Drama. The trilogy has been produced at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Goodman Theatre, and Manhattan Theatre Club, among others. Cowhig is a recipient of the Wasserstein Playwriting Prize, the Yale Drama Series Award, and the Keene Prize for Literature, among others. She grew up in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Taipei, and Beijing, and recently moved to Southern Appalachia.

The Whiting Award grants $50,000 to emerging writers to help them fulfill the promise of exceptional literary work to come.


FABnyc has named their 2024 Lower East Side Young Artists of Color Fellows. The fellowship offers artists the opportunity to share work and learn from other artists and mentors.

This year’s fellowship class includes theatre artist Jason Wang, a playwright from Queens. Wang is a correspondent for the theatre podcast Go See a Show!, which covers Off-Off-Broadway. They are a 2024 Workshop Theater Winter Intensive playwright, a former HEAR US fellow, and a former NYCEmerge fellow. Wang is also the former president of All Asian Arts Alliance at New York University.


RHINEBECK, N.Y.: The Rhinebeck Writers Retreat has announced that Adam Chanler-Berat and Julian Hornik‘s musical Assisted has been selected for this year’s Triple R program. The writers will receive a residency and two readings of their musical in May. The readings will be directed by Annie Tippe, with music direction by Simone Allen.

Assisted follows Richard, a playwright making a docu-theatre project in the memory care unit of an assisted living facility. It is a “meta-theatrical musical” on “performance as a means of palliative care.”

The Rhinebeck Writers Retreat supports musical theatre artists and has worked with over 200 musical theatre writers since 2011.


WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.: Palm Beach Dramaworks has announced the winners of their second annual Young Playwrights 1-Minute Play Contest. 19 students from five middle schools in Palm Beach County will receive staged readings of their work on April 17.

The 19 winners were selected from 104 entires evaluated by theatre professionals. The student playwrights will receive a $100 prize and a keepsake anthology of all the winning plays.

Winning entries came from students at Bak Middle School of the Arts and Crista McAuliffe, Eagles Landing, Watson B. Duncan, and Woodlands Middle Schools. A full list of winning plays and playwrights is available here.


CHICAGO: American Blues Theater has named Ken Urban the recipient of this year’s Blue Ink Award for his play The Conquered. Urban will receive a $3,000 cash prize, as well as a staged reading at American Blues and the opportunity for further script development.

The staged reading will be held this August, directed by American Blues artistic affiliate Dexter Bullard, as part of this year’s Blue Ink Playwriting Festival. The festival will also feature new works from Blue Ink Award finalists Brittany Fisher, Nick Malakhow, and Sharifa Yasmin.

The Conquered follows Jane, an adrift woman suffering from a recurring nightmare in which a young man breaks into her house.

Urban, a playwright, screenwriter, and musician, is a senior lecturer in theatre arts and the director of dramatic writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work has been produced by the Huntington, Studio Theatre, and the Public Theater, among others, and has been published by Dramatists Play Service/Broadway Licensing. He is a four-time MacDowell Fellow and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and an affiliated writer at the Playwrights’ Center.

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