The $25,000 cash prize was created in Wendy Wasserstein's honor to provide financial assistance to a female playwright who has yet to receive national attention for her work. Funded by the Educational Foundation of America, provisions for the award state that the Wasserstein Prize is intended for a writer "to whom $25,000 will make a substantial difference in a professional life." Established in 2006 by the Dramatists Guild of America and the Educational Foundation of America in the memory of the late Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, the Wasserstein Prize also provides a complimentary renewal of the playwright's Dramatists Guild of America membership and the opportunity to have a professionally staged reading at Second Stage Theater.
A panel of Wasserstein's friends and contemporaries, including Andre Bishop, Stephen Graham, Beth Milles, Jonathan Reynolds, Carole Rothman and Linda Winer, were among the panelists who selected Jacqmin's script for the honor.
Jacqmin, a 25-year-old playwright, is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of the New Voices Network and a co-founder of the Yale Playwrights Festival. She is a graduate of Yale University and Ohio University's MFA playwriting program. Her play And When We Awoke There Was Light and Light (a commission for the Victory Gardens Theater) was her winning entry for the Wasserstein Prize.