Rising Phoenix Repertory has named Ren Dara Santiago the first recipient of The Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award, presented to an emerging playwright of exceptional work ethic, character, and talent.
“Kind, fearless, socially conscious, Ren’s writing is something that gives me faith in the future of American theater,” says playwright and long-term mentor Lucy Thurber.
Thurber mentored Santiago on The Siblings Play as part of the 19th season of Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project. Directed by Jenna Worsham, the drama debuted Off-Broadway February 22–March 4, 2017. Her other plays include Something in the Balete Tree (Gingold Theatrical Groups’ The Speaker’s Corner, Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writer’s Group, mentor-playwright Erin Courtney, and the Playwriting Mentorship Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm, with Adam Bock), as well as the short plays Little Stories, Big World, and Love & Animation.
“Ren personifies the spirit of this award,” adds Daniel Talbott, artistic director of Rising Phoenix Rep. “She is an extraordinary talent, an explosive, infinitely original voice, and a heart-led collaborator. We couldn’t be more honored to have her grace Rising Phoenix Rep’s first award.”
The award, named after Cornelia Street in the West Village, will be presented to Santiago in February 2019 at a reception in New York City. The award carries a cash prize of $3,500, and includes publication of one of the playwright’s works in Rising Phoenix Rep’s theatre arts magazine, Caffe Cino.