The Terrence McNally New Play Award is a $10,000 cash prize given annually to recognize "a new play that celebrates the transformative power of art." The award will also include a year of development support at PTC, including readings, administrative support and networking "to help manage the future of the play beyond its time at PTC."
The award was announced March 5 at the opening night of PTC@Play, a two-week festival of new works running through March 11. It features staged readings of four new plays from around the country, a new musical in development with music and lyrics by a collection of Broadway giants, and an evening of short plays by eight Philadelphia playwrights.
"Bill Cain is a playwright whose increasing recognition nationally is proof of the progress that all of us playwrights have to make in our careers," McNally said in a statement. "His play about Thomas Eakins, who persevered despite many obstacles, including humiliation and rejection even in his hometown of Philadelphia, is the kind of subject that the Terrence McNally New Play Award hopes to continue to honor in the future."
Bill Cain's play How to Write a New Book for the Bible was developed at PTC's 2011 PTC@Play Festival and received its world at Berkeley Rep and Seattle Rep this season. His widely-produced play Stand-Up Tragedy earned six L.A. Critics Awards, including best production and distinguished writing, in its premiere at the Mark Taper Forum. It later garnered four Helen Hayes Awards (including outstanding production) at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, before its 1990 Broadway engagement where it received the Joe A. Callaway Playwriting Award. Equivocation, the recipient of two Edgerton grants and, subsequently, the Steinberg New Play Award, received its world premiere production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival before transferring to Seattle Rep and Arena Stage. It was also produced by the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles where it received an Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play (Large Theatre and Featured Actor in a Play), Marin Theatre Company and Manhattan Theatre Club.
9 Circles was awarded the Sky/Cooper Prize and subsequently received the Steinberg New Play Award making Cain the only author to receive the award two years in a row. Following its premiere at Marin Theatre Company, it has been produced around the country including the Publick of Boston, Renegade Theater, Curious Theater and the Bootleg in Los Angeles where it received 3 L.A. Drama Critic nominations. Cain is the founder of the Boston Shakespeare Company, where he was artistic director for seven seasons, directing most of the Shakespeare canon.
PTC produced the world premieres of Terrence McNally's Master Class, Golden Age, Some Men and Unusual Acts of Devotion and the Philadelphia regional premieres of Love! Valour! Compassion!, Lips Together, Teeth Apart and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.