The $30,000 cash prize, established by the Austin, Texas-based Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation, will be presented on a bi-annual basis to "an American playwright who has written an original work of exceptional quality."
Resident theatres across the country will be invited to submit a play by a playwright who has penned three original full-length works produced by a professional theatre.
Selecting the finalists will be theatre professionals who had a personal working relationship with Foote, including Andre Bishop (Lincoln Center Theater), James Houghton (Signature Theatre Company), Andrew Leynse (Primary Stages) and Michael Wilson (Hartford Stage Company).
A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Young Man from Atlanta, Foote's plays also include Dividing the Estate (2009 Tony nomination for Best Play), The Carpetbagger's Children, The Trip to Bountiful, The Traveling Lady, The Chase, The Last of the Thorntons and Talking Pictures, among others. He is an Academy Award winner for the screenplays for "Tender Mercies" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." The 92-year-old Foote had been in Hartford, CT, where he was putting the finishing touches on Orphans' Home Cycle, when he died in March 2009. The nine-play cycle is currently running Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre Company.