Playwrights Arthur Miller and Richard Greenberg are the first recipients of two new PEN awards, given in association with the Laura Pels Foundation. Miller was honored as a Master American Dramatist and will receive a specially-commissioned art object as his prize. Greenberg was awarded $5,000 as a significant American dramatist in mid-career. The PEN American Center is a national association of literary writers.
This is Miller's season, without a doubt. Several of his plays have been successfully revived in the past 12 months, including the Tony-nominated Broadway production of A View From the Bridge. He is also the subject of a season-long retrospective at the Signature Theatre Company, where his new work, Mr. Peters' Connections, starring Peter Falk, is now playing. As a result, the playwright has garnered much late-career attention and has lately collected several honors, including a lifetime achievement award from the Drama Desk critics association.
Miller was elected president of International PEN in 1965. He has since remained an International PEN vice-president, and served on American PEN's board.
Richard Greenberg is the author of several plays including Eastern Standard, The Extra Man, and Three Days of Rain, which was presented Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club this season. He is a member of the Drama Dept. theatre company.
The judges for the awards' inaugural year were Laura Pels and playwrights Wendy Wasserstein and Lanford Wilson. The prizes will be presented on May 14 at a reception in the Time Life Building in New York. --By Robert Simonson