Playwright Gloria Bond Clunie has been named recipient of the 2000 McPherson Award, a new-play commission established jointly by The Goodman Theatre and Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. The award is named after Scott McPherson, the playwright of Marvin's Room, who died of AIDS in 1992. The honor includes a $5,000 cash prize.
The McPherson Award (established in 1995) is given by The Goodman and Victory Gardens in alternate years; Victory Gardens gave Clunie the award this year.
"As an African-American playwright and educator, Gloria Bond Clunie brings an acute awareness of the problems associated with race in this country, and yet her writing is universal in its truth and appeal," said Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek, in a statement.
Clunie is a founding member of the Playwrights Ensemble at Victory Gardens, a company devoted to new works. Her play, North Star, was produced at Victory Gardens in 1995 and went on to win a number of awards, including a 1996 Jeff Award. Her other plays include Some Enchanted Evening, Secrets, A Basket of Wishes, Sing, Malindy, Sing and Dream. She founded the Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre in Evanston in 1979 and has directed many Chicagoland plays. She earned a bachelor's degree in speech and a master's in directing from Northwestern University.
Past recipients of the McPherson Award are Rebecca Gilman, Kristine Thatcher and Dominic Taylor.
-- By Kenneth Jones