The $10,000 prize is awarded by The Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation and the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA). The prize once administered by The Denver Center Theatre Company was on hiatus since 2002 due to cuts in budget.
The Francesca Primus Prize focuses on emerging female playwrights and has expanded to "include women in all pioneering categories of theatre" as well as increased the award from $5,000 to $10,000, according to an ATCA release.
The award is named in honor of theatre writer, critic and dramaturg Francesca Primus — who died of lung cancer at the age of 45 in 1992. An avid supporter of regional theatre, she penned a monthly column for the trade publication Back Stage called "Cross-Country Stages" and also served as a reader for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Previous winners of the Francesca Primus Prize include Julia Jordan's Tatjana in Color (1997), Brooke Berman's Wonderland (1998), Melanie Marnich's Blur (1999), Brooke Berman's Playing House (2000), S. M. Shepard Massat's Some Place Soft to Fall (2001) and Alexandra Cunningham's Pavane (2002).
New York native Nottage is the playwright of Crumbs from the Table of Joy, A Walk Through Time, Por'knockers, Poof!, Las Meninas and Mud, River, Stone — which was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her work has been produced by Second Stage Theatre, The Vineyard Theatre and Playwrights Horizons as well as many regional stages including South Coast Rep, Yale Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, San Jose Rep and Steppenwolf. Intimate Apparel makes its New York premiere as the inaugural staging at the Roundabout Theatre Company's new Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org.
For more information on the American Theatre Critics Association, visit www.americantheatrecritics.org.