The Secret Agenda of Trees by Colin McKenna and Open Rehearsal by Lazarre Seymour Simckes were chosen as runners up.
The award is a new, annual Yale University-affiliated prize for emerging playwrights in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Ireland. Albee announced the selections April 26 at a ceremony at Lincoln Center.
Connolly is an Irish playwright and retired clinical psychologist who resides in Dublin. He receives $10,000, publication of his manuscript by Yale University Press and a staged reading at Yale Repertory Theatre. His play, selected from more than 500 submissions, "is based loosely on the lives of Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), the original so-called 'Siamese twins' joined at the sternum," according to press notes.
Albee is the sole judge of the competition and will serve next year as well. A committee helped Albee select the winner from 500 submissions. Future judges of the competition are to be determined, and will include distinguished playwrights and directors.
Submissions for the 2008 competition must be postmarked no earlier than July 15 and no later than Aug. 15. The plays must be original full-length plays written in English and must not have been previously published or produced. The competition, also known as the Yale Drama Series, is jointly sponsored by Yale University Press and Yale Rep, and is funded by the David Charles Horn Foundation. The award's advisory board includes Harold Bloom, Robert Brustein, James Bundy, Alfred Goldfield, Annie Keefe and Joanne Woodward.
The David Charles Horn Foundation was established in 2003 by Francine Horn to honor the memory of her late husband, who was publisher and CEO of Here & There, a fashion industry publication. The foundation supports new initiatives in the literary and dramatic arts, to commemorate her husband's commitment to writing.
The playwright Edward Albee won Best Play Tony Awards for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?. He was also Tony nominated for The Ballad of the Sad Café, Tiny Alice, A Delicate Balance and Seascape. Albee is also the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes, the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.
For more information visit dchornfoundation.org.