Hnath was submitted for consideration by The Actors Theatre of Louisville, one of only 18 theatres across the U.S. invited to make a submission. The Christians debuted there at the Humana Festival earlier this year.
Additionally, the jury awarded James Ijames an Honorable Mention for his play The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, submitted by the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia. Both playwrights will be honored at The Kesselring Prize reception Nov. 22 at the National Arts Club in New York City.
Named in honor of playwright the late Joseph Kesselring (Arsenic and Old Lace), the prize was established in 1980 with the intent of honoring a not-yet nationally recognized playwright. Previous recipients include celebrated and acclaimed playwrights Rajiv Joseph, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith and Lynn Nottage, who was on the jury for the 2015 award. Also on the jury was playwright John Guare (The House of Blue Leaves) and Anne Cattaneo (dramaturg, Lincoln Center Theater); Michael Parva, artistic director of the Directors Company, serves as artistic advisor of the Kesselring Prize. Prior to Hnath, the award was last given in 2009.
The Christians, directed by Les Waters, is now set to run through Oct. 25 at Playwrights Horizons, where a 20-person rotating choir continues to perform as part of the church-like setting. The story follows Pastor Paul, played by Andrew Garman, whose church has expanded greatly in the last decade. Despite its growth and loyal following, he is about to deliver a sermon that will shake the foundation of the congregation's faith. Previews for the Off-Broadway premiere began Aug. 28. Following its New York run, the play will be presented in Los Angeles at the Center Theatre Group Dec. 2-Jan. 10, 2016.
To purchase tickets visit PlaywrightsHorizons.