Michelle Carter's Hillary and Soon-Yi Shop for Ties won in the drama category of the PEN USA WEST's 2000 Literary Awards, it was announced recently.
The satiric, antic "vaudeville for the new millennium," presented in 1999 by Magic Theatre in San Francisco, was embraced by PEN judges "for its rich theatricality, wonderful humor and terrific song lyrics, in addition to its colorful dialogue. It observes the nature of male-female relationships with great perceptiveness, as well as making important statements on the nature of celebrity."
As the title suggests, the works involves the current, harried wives of Bill Clinton and Woody Allen.
Finalists for the prize included Richard Hellesen's Kingdom (Denver Center Theatre Company), Julie Jensen's Two-Headed (Women's Project and Productions), David Rambo's God's Man in Texas (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and C. Denby Swanson's Waterless Places (Rampant Spinster Productions).
Judges were Brad Schreiber, David Schweizer and Chay Yew. Awards are for works produced or published in 1999 by writers living in the western United States. The awards ceremony, recognizing film, fiction, children's lit and other categories, including drama, will be held in Los Angeles Oct. 25.
PEN USA WEST is described as a community of writers defending freedom of expression and building a literary culture.
-- By Kenneth Jones