The Berwin Lee Award was created to foster and promote playwriting and encourage the writing and production of plays in the United States and United Kingdom. The winners were announced by Dorothy Berwin, Mark Lee and Tom Kirdahy.
Eligible playwrights for the Berwin Lee award have not had work produced on Broadway or in the West End. Potential recipients are identified through recommendations from chosen theatre companies in New York, NY and London, UK and recommendations from Berwin Lee’s advisory board which includes Maria Arena Bell, Sandra Brant, Dominic Cooke, Gary Garrison, Joyce Hytner, Cherry Jones, Mel Kenyon, Donna Murphy and John Tiffany.
Doran and Kirkwood were chosen in part on recommendations from the artistic directors of Lincoln Center Theater in New York and the Royal Court Theatre in London. Each recipient will receive the award in the form of a commission, with no specific time frame attached so that they have the freedom to write the plays they want to write without restriction.
A reception will be held in their honor in New York City on April 30. The awards will be celebrated in London this fall.
Doran's play Kin premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2011. She has also written for Bruiser "Smack the Pony" and "TV to Go." She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University, and went on to become a playwriting fellow at The Juilliard School. Doran's work has been developed by the O'Neill Playwriting Center, Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club and Sundance Theatre Lab, among others. She is currently under commission from Atlantic Theater Company and Playwrights Horizons. Kirkwood wrote and starred in her first play, Grady Hot Potato, at the Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2005. Her plays also include Geronimo, Guns or Butter, Tinderbox, It Felt Empty When The Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now and Psychogeography. She is under commission to the Manhattan Theatre Club to write a science play. Her play NSFW premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012.