2021 Horton Foote Award Names Five Total
The Dramatists Guild of America is proud to announce they will present the 2021 Horton Foote Playwriting Award to five amazing playwrights – Carla Ching, Kia Corthron, Aleshea Harris, Donja R. Love, and Mfoniso Udofia – at the Dramatists Guild’s awards presentations later this summer. The Richenthal Foundation is again sponsoring the award. The writers will share the $25,000 cash prize.
Lloyd Suh, chair of the DG’s Awards committee commented, “As we’re now well into year two of life without live theater, the selection committee was emphatic about using this opportunity to uplift these five important playwrights in recognition of the present-tense urgency of their work.
“These writers are each individually remarkable in the specificity and personality of their artistic vision, and they are collectively extraordinary as an affirmation of the bravery and innovation in contemporary American playwriting. The Dramatists Guild’s Awards Committee is humbled by this opportunity to partner with Hallie Foote and the Richenthal Foundation in presenting these awards, in loving memory of Horton Foote.”
This playwriting award, now in its sixth year, honors a dramatist or dramatists whose work seeks to plumb the ineffable nature of being human. The award is named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Oscar-winning, and Tony-nominated playwright Horton Foote, who passed away in 2009. Due to Foote’s longtime association with the Dramatists Guild, the award is administered by the Dramatists Guild Foundation. The first recipients of the award were Stephen Karam, Rajiv Joseph, James Anthony Tyler, Amy Herzog, Heidi Schreck, and Lydia Diamond.
A native Angeleno, Carla Ching’s plays include Nomad Motel (Atlantic Theater; NNPN Rolling World Premiere at City Theatre, Unicorn Theatre Company and Horizon Theatre Company), Fast Company (South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up(Theatre Mu, Artists at Play), The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi) and TBA (2g).
Development or Production: Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Rep, CTG Writers’ Workshop, Huntington Theatre Company, Jackalope Theatre, The Lark, Lyric Stage, The O’Neill, PFP, The Women’s Project. New Dramatists and founding member of The Kilroys. Former Artistic Director of 2g. She’s currently writing Revenge Porn as a Toulmin commission for The Atlantic. TV: Fear the Walking Dead, I Love Dick, The First, Preacher, Home Before Dark and the forthcoming Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Kia Corthron was the 2017 resident playwright of Chicago’s Eclipse Theatre Company, which produced three of her plays, including the world premiere of Megastasis.
Also: contributing writer of Anne Bogart/SITI Company’s Steel Hammer (ATL/Humana, BAM, international tour), A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick (Playwrights Horizons), Trickle (EST Marathon), Moot the Messenger(ATL/Humana), Light Raise the Roof (NYTW), Snapshot Silhouette (Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre), Slide Glide the Slippery Slope (ATL/Humana, Mark Taper Forum), The Venus de Milo Is Armed(Alabama Shakespeare Festival).
Also, Breath, Boom (London’s Royal Court Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, Huntington), Force Continuum (Atlantic Theater Company), Splash Hatch on the E Going Down (NY Stage and Film, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Yale Rep, London’s Donmar Warehouse), Seeking the Genesis(Goodman, MTC), Digging Eleven (Hartford Stage), Wake Up Lou Riser (Delaware Theatre Company), Come Down Burning (American Place, Long Wharf), Cage Rhythm(Sightlines/The Point in the Bronx).
Awards: Flora Roberts Award, Windham- Campbell Prize, USArtists, McKnight National Residency, Simon Great Plains Playwright Award, Otto Award, Lee Reynolds Award, Columbia College/Goodman Theatre Fellowship, AT&T On Stage, Daryl Roth Creative Spirit, Fadiman Award, NEA/TCG, Kennedy Center Fund, New Professional Theatre Award, Callaway. TV: The Wire. Her debut novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter won the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her second novel, Moon and the Mars, will be released in August.
Aleshea Harris’s play Is God Is won the 2016 Relentless Award, an Obie Award for playwriting, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. What to Send Up When It Goes Down had its critically-acclaimed NYC premiere in 2018, was featured in American Theatre Magazine and won a rare Special Commendation from the Blackburn Prize. Harris has also been honored with a Samuel French Next Step Award, the Windham-Campbell Literary Prize, the Steinberg Playwriting Award and the Hermitage Greenfield Prize.
Donja R. Love (he/him) is Black, Queer, HIV-Positive, and thriving. A Philly native, his work examines the forced absurdity of life for those who identify as Black, Queer, and HIV-positive – a diverse intersection filled with eloquent stories that challenge the white supremacist, heteronormative structures that exist in American culture. He’s the recipient of the Terrence McNally Award, the Antonyo’s inaugural Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Laurents/Hatcher Award and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award.
Other honors include The Lark’s Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, The Playwrights Realm’s Writing Fellowship, and the Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. He’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ+ People of Color.
He’s also the creator of Write It Out – a playwrights’ program for writers living with HIV. Plays include soft (MCC), one in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nominations), and What Will Happen to All That Beauty? He sits on the board at The Lark and is an Artistic Councilmember at People’s Theatre Project. He’s a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School. IG/Twitter: @donjarlove
Mfoniso Udofia, a first-generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College, obtained her MFA from the American Conservatory Theater [ACT] and, while at ACT, co-pioneered, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint.
Productions of her plays Sojourners, runboyrun, Her Portmanteau and In Old Agehave been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, American Conservatory Theater, Playwrights Realm, Magic Theater, National Black Theatre, Strand Theater Company, and Boston Court. She’s the recipient of the 2017 Helen Merrill Playwright Award, the 2017-18 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center and is a member of New Dramatists.
Mfoniso’s currently commissioned by Hartford Stage, Denver Center, ACT, and South Coast Repertory. Her plays have been developed by MCC, Manhattan Theatre Club, ACT, McCarter Theatre, OSF, New Dramatists, PCS’s JAW Festival, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, The OCC, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Page 73, New Black Fest, Rising Circle and more. She has worked as a television writer on 13 Reasons Why, Little America, Pachinko and Away. Follow her at @mfudofia or visit www.mfonisoudofia.com.
The 2021 Horton Foote Award will be presented virtually later this summer. The Guild’s other awards, including the Flora Roberts Award and the Lanford Wilson Award, and further details about the event will be announced at a later date.
For more information, please visit the Dramatists Guild website at https://www.dramatistsguild.com/awards/.