The award's namesake will be in attendance as the guest of honor at the Jan. 29, 2007, event to take place at New York City's Rainbow Room.
"I can think of no better way to mark the Vineyard's anniversary than to honor Paula Vogel for her extraordinary contributions to the theatre by creating this award in her name. Paula's work has been an inspiration to all of us at the Vineyard — daring, deeply felt and important," stated Vineyard artistic director Douglas Aibel in an announcement.
The Vineyard first produced Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive Off-Broadway in 1997 as well as her recent work The Long Christmas Ride Home in 2003.
The annual honor is to be presented to "an emerging playwright of exceptional promise who will receive a cash prize, and a staged reading of their work at the Vineyard." The winner will be chosen yearly by "a rotating committee comprised of members of Vineyard's artistic staff and of its resident community of artists."
Vogel stated about the new honor: "They say a person is judged by the company they keep, and I am so honored by my association with the Vineyard Theatre — they are a company I always want to keep. I am doubly honored: honored by having the award in my name from the Vineyard, and honored to be blessing a new generation of rising playwrights. The Vineyard fulfills the promise of its name: in planting the seeds of new plays, we as audiences reap the harvest." Among Vogel's other works are The Baltimore Waltz, The Mineola Twins, The Oldest Profession and Hot N Throbbing.
The Vineyard currently presents Anne Washburn's The Internationalist and will continue its 25th season with Tina Landau's staging of J.M. Barrie's Mary Rose (January/February 2007) and a developmental Lab Production Series run of Nicky Silver's The Agony and the Agony (spring 2007) staged by director Terry Kinney for Vineyard Theatre members only. A fourth production (to play in the spring of 2007) has yet to be announced.
The Vineyard is located at 108 East 15 St. For more information, visit www.vineyardtheatre.org.