Rosie Perez will star in a Nov. 24 reading of a new play, Brooklyn Bridge, by Kesselring Prize-winner Melissa James Gibson.
The reading will be part of the Kesselring Prize ceremony at the National Arts Club in Manhattan. Gibson won the prize for [sic], which had a heralded run at Soho Rep in 2001.
It was announced Nov. 23 that Perez would step into the Broadway run of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Jan. 1, 2003, with Joe Pantoliano as her co-star.
Also participating in the reading are Fritz Weaver, Pippa Pearthtree and Michael Potts. The play, directed by Michael Parva, is about "a young latch-key girl who learns lessons about the world outside her door when she goes in search of a pencil with which to do her homework."
The Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, who nominated Gibson for the Prize, will premiere Brooklyn Bridge in 2003. Gibson will receive her $10,000 cash award at the ceremony. Lydia Diamond was the Kesselring's runner-up with a $2,500 cash award. Diamond was nominated by the Goodman Theatre, partially on the strength of her play The Gift Horse, a piece about an African American cellist.
Named for Arsenic and Old Lace playwright, Joseph Kesselring, the Prize was first awarded in 1980 to the playwright who shows the most promise but has not received national recognition. 2001's Kesselring winner was David Lindsay-Abaire (Kimberly Akimbo) with 2002 Pulitzer Prize nominee Dael Orlandersmith (Yellowman) as the honorable mention. Past winners have included David Auburn, Nicky Silver, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Jose Rivera, Marion McClinton and Susan Charlotte, the first recipient of the Prize.
—By Robert Simonson