Playwright-performer Chris Burns is smiling somewhere. The author of the well- received My Mother's a Baby Boy — which played earlier this year at downtown New York City's Kraine Theatre — has been named the 2001 Oppenheimer Award winner.
The Oppenheimer Award, chosen by a committee of theatre professionals and presented by New York's Newsday, honors artists who made an impression with their New York debut. Burns also starred in his play.
In My Mother's a Baby Boy, Burns combines earlier one-act works with the same theme. He explores the relationships between a mother and a daughter, a boyfriend and a girlfriend, and two best friends. These modern urban pairs all battle with the dilemma that no matter how much you speak, no one ever truly communicates.
Most notable for his recreation of the infamous Orson Welles radio play, "War of the Worlds," in Los Angeles with Sting, U2's Bono, Peter Gabriel and the cast of "Friends," Burns follows a line of known playwrights in winning this honor. Among past recipients of this prize are Jon Robin Baitz, Margaret Edson, Beth Henley, James Lapine and Daniel Goldfarb.
— by Ernio Hernandez