The award, named in honor of civil rights advocate Ruby Bridges, represents perseverance in the face of formidable obstacles. As a first-grader at the William Frantz Elementary School in the fall of 1960, Bridges became one of the first African Americans to attend an integrated public school in New Orleans.
The winner of the prize will be announced on Nov. 1. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 15.
The program was conceived as part of ongoing efforts made by Southern Rep "to develop new American plays, support a diverse community of artists, and incite a stimulating dialogue within our community."
In addition to the cash award of $10,000, the winner will receive a Ruby Prize Award, designed for Southern Rep by Tom Mathis; a weeklong development workshop with collaboration of full artistic team at the Southern Rep New Play Bacchanal, held in New Orleans, Jan. 5-7, 2012; a sponsored trip to New York to continue development of the play and introduce the new work to a larger audience; and a ten-day writing retreat to Hedgebrook, a literary non-profit that supports the work of visionary women writers.
Situated on Whidbey Island, Hedgebrook hosts women writers from all over the world for residencies of two to six weeks. Residents will be housed "in six handcrafted cottages, where they spend their days in solitude — writing, reading or taking walks on the property." Two finalists will also be selected to have their new works read at the Southern Rep New Play Bacchanal in January 2012.
Each submission must include a letter of introduction that should contain a brief play synopsis, a character breakdown, playwright biography and brief history of the play's development. The manuscript should have a title page containing the playwright's name, address and contact information. This information may only appear on the title page. Submissions must be sent by email, as an attached document, in PDF (preferred) or Word doc format.
All submissions should be emailed to TheRuby@SouthernRep.com. If the play is a musical, CDs of original music may be sent to: attn: The Ruby Prize; Southern Rep; 333 Canal ST, Box 34; New Orleans, LA 70130.
The Ruby Prize was launched last year. Eisa Davis' Ramp received The Ruby, which included a workshop and reading at New Dramatists. The finalists — Fight by Kimber Lee and Hurt Village by Katori Hall — were presented at Southern Rep in readings as part of Southern Rep's New Play Bacchanal.
For more information, visit www.SouthernRep.com.