Charles L. Mee and Rebecca Gilman are among the nominees for the 2000 Kesselring Prize, whose winner will be announced in September. 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.
Mee is the nominee for the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where his Big Love was produced this spring at the Humana Festival. Gilman got the nod from the Goodman Theatre, first producers of her Spinning Into Butter, now making its New York debut at Lincoln Center.
Other nominees and the theatres sponsoring them follow:
Prince Gomovilas, American Conservatory Theatre
Brighde Mullins, Hartford Stage
Anthony Giardina, Long Wharf Theatre
Theresa Rebeck, Intiman Theatre
David Auburn, Manhattan Theatre Club
Sunil Kuruvilla, Mark Taper Forum
Christopher Shinn, Playwrights Horizons
Jessica Hagedorn, Public Theatre
Eliza Anderson, Trinity Repertory Company
Robert Alexander, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Each playwright will submit 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 Sept. 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.
1999's Kesselring winner was Heather McDonald for her An Almost Holy Picture. Past winners have included Nicky Silver, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Jose Rivera and Marion McClinton.
-- By Christine Ehren