The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's 1997 National Playwrights Conference has announced its 1996 Playwrights Award winners, to be awarded June 29 at the Waterford, CT-based center.
Here are the winners:
Herbert & Patricia Brodkin Scholarship Award: Lee Blessing, Going To St. Ives. The award goes to support a playwright "with a responsible concern for the current struggle of human beings to survive and progress in a world created by the creator and reshaped by man."
Charles MacArthur Fellowship: Peter Sagal, Most Wanted. The award goes to playwrights whose work best exemplifies "the comic, irreverent spirit of Charles MacArthur." (Helen Hayes founded the award for her late husband.)
Eric Kocher Playwrights Award: Catherine Filloux, Eyes Of The Heart. The award goes to playwrights whose work shows "unusual depth and originality and whose concerns reflect an international perspective."
The Edith Oliver Fellowship: Kira Obolensky, The Adventures Of Herculina. The award is given to a playwright at the previous year's Conference whose work best displays the style of former New Yorker critic (and O'Neill Center regular) Edith Oliver. Oliver's writing was known for "a caustic wit that deflates the ego but does not unduly damage the human spirit." In other O'Neill news, Will Dunne's Hotel Desperado will be translated and performed in Russia as part of the "Russian Cultural Exchange" between NPC and the nations of the former Soviet Union.
Among the O'Neill Center's programs are the National Theatre Institute, which offers students college credit for studying acting, writing, directing and tech with theatre professionals; a nine-day cabaret symposium; The National Critics Institute's four-week "critics' bootcamp;" and educational programs at Monte Cristo Cottage, boyhood home of Eugene O'Neill.
--By David Lefkowitz