David Lindsay-Abaire, whose Manhattan Theatre Club productions include Fuddy Meers and the upcoming Wonder of the World, is a nominee for the 2001 Kesselring Prize, along with Stop Kiss' Diana Son and The Gimmick and Monster's Dael Orlandersmith. Playwrights are nominated for the $10,000 cash prize by various regional theatres on the strength of their work, even though the writer is more or less unknown.
The fourteen theatres, with their nominees, are:
Perseverance Theatre (Douglas, AK): Bridget Carpenter (Fall)
Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL): Bruce Norris
La Jolla Playhouse (CA): Neena Beber (Hard Feelings)
McCarter Theatre (Princeton, NJ): Orlandersmith
Berkeley Repertory (CA): Lillian Garrett-Groag (The Magic Fire)
Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle, WA): Diana Son (Stop Kiss)
Guthrie Theatre (Minneapolis, MN): Melanie Marnich (Blur)
People's Light and Theatre Company (Malverne, PA): Russell Davis
Wilma Theatre (Philadelphia, PA): Nilo Cruz (Two Sisters and a Piano)
Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR): Octavio Solis (Santos & Santos, La Posada Magica)
Williamstown Theatre Festival (MA): Angus Maclachlan (Dead Eye Boy)
Actors Theatre of Louisville (KY): Naomi Iizuka (Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls)
South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA): Lindsay-Abaire
Denver Theater Center (CO): Stephen Belber (Tape, The Laramie Project)
Each playwright submits a biography and one play. These are read over by the National Arts Club throughout the summer and a winner and runner up will be announced in September. The Kesselring Prize is awarded in November.
Named for Arsenic and Old Lace playwright, Joseph Kesselring, the Prize was first awarded in 1980 to the playwright who shows the most promise but has not received national recognition. Along with the honor of being named, Kesselring winners also receive a $10,000 cash award. The honorable mention receives $2,500. 2000's Kesselring winner was David Auburn, present on Broadway with the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Proof. Past winners have included Nicky Silver, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Jose Rivera and Marion McClinton.
-- By Christine Ehren