A Family's History and a Race Riot Spark False Creeds, 2006-07 Winner of Atlanta Play Prize

News   A Family's History and a Race Riot Spark False Creeds, 2006-07 Winner of Atlanta Play Prize
 
Race riots spark False Creeds, a new play selected as the winner of the third annual Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, the company announced Jan. 31.

As the competition winner, the drama by emerging playwright Darren Canady will see its world premiere on the Hertz Stage during the 2006-07 Season of the Alliance Theatre.

The Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition (GPC) "is a one-of-a-kind national competition that exposes student playwrights to the world of professional theatre through experiences working with a nationally recognized theatre," according to Alliance.

The grand prize for the winner of the competition is a professional production of his/her work at the Alliance Theatre. In 2005 the Kendeda GPC entered into a partnership with the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. This year False Creeds, as the GPC winner, will be workshopped at the O'Neill before going on to production at the Alliance.

Canady's play "visits the life of a young man who, while researching his family history, discovers the shocking truth about his ancestors. Raised believing he was a descendant of poor farmers, his search instead reveals the tremendous impact of the 1921 Race Riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma on his family. The young man learns that as a result of the devastating riots, his grandmother and her family became refugees, rebuilding their lives from scratch. He struggles with the inheritance of their memory and the desire and responsibility to preserve it."

Darren Canady is a graduate student at New York University. The other finalists in the competition were Ruth McKee, University of California, San Diego; Chris Leyva, The University of Iowa; Carson Kreitzer, University of Texas at Austin; and Elizabeth Brandon, Florida State University. This year's winning work was evaluated by an in-house panel of readers at the Alliance and a national panel of three theatre artists. In conjunction with Alliance Theatre leadership, the national judges selected the winner.

The 2006 national judges' panel included Wendy Goldberg, artistic director of O'Neill Theatre Center; Todd London, the artistic director of New Dramatists; Kristin Caskey, producer of Fox Theatricals; and playwright/director Chay Yew, director of the Taper's Asian Theatre Workshop and the resident director at East West Players in Los Angeles.

The Alliance Theatre inaugurated its Graduate Playwriting Competition in 2003, with the first winning play, Day of the Kings by Daphne Greaves, produced in the 2004-2005 season. The winning play of the second annual competition was . . .,” said Said by Ken Lin and is scheduled for the current season (spring 2006).

During the 2004-05 season, the Competition became the Kendeda Graduate Playwright Competition after a grant from the Kendeda foundation secured the competition's future at the Alliance.

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More than 20 graduate schools around the nation participated in this year's competition by encouraging their student playwrights to submit work for evaluation. The competition was conceived by Alliance Theatre artistic director Susan V. Booth.

For more information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org.

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