Directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet, Chinglish), the evening includes performances by Tony winners Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed, The Heidi Chronicles) and Christopher Durang (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, A History of the American Film) as well as Tony nominees Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Anna in the Tropics), Jennifer Westfeldt (Wonderful Town, "Friends With Kids"), Kate Rigg and Danny Mastrogiorgio. Brian Lowdermilk will accompany on piano.
Leah Ryan's Fund for Emerging Women Writers (FEWW) and its annual prize were established in 2008 to honor the memory of Leah Ryan and to support the work of women writers. The annual Leah Ryan Award intends to encourage brilliant and unrecognized women playwrights with both an annual cash prize and a New York City showcase of the winning work.
The purpose of the prize is to perpetuate the integrity, compassion and creativity that Ryan herself possessed and inspired in others. Past recipients include Laura Marks (Bethany), Megan Mostyn-Brown (The Rest of Your Life), Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo), Jen Silverman (The Moors) and Rachel Teagle (The Ever and After). The Leah Ryan Award is presented each spring at the Lillys, an annual award honoring the work of women in the American theatre.
Leah Ryan was a playwright, essayist, writer of post-modern greeting cards and a general woman of letters. Her plays include Bleach, a dark comedy about the legacy of the Armenian genocide that received the Maibaum Award for plays dealing with issues of social justice. She taught playwriting, English and creative writing to a wide variety of students, including those at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, where she was a professor in the Arts and Communications department and founder of their Writing Center. Ms. Ryan died of leukemia June 12, 2008, at the age of 44 in New York City. Beginning in January 2015, the FEWW will be offering The Vladimir Award, a new emergency fund for writers facing medical emergencies.
Joe's Pub is located at 425 Lafayette St. For information call (917) 841-4879. Tickets are $100 and may be purchased by visiting leahryansfeww.com.