The winner of the 2016 Kesselring Prize for Playwriting, which is given annually by the National Arts Club to “an outstanding new playwright on the verge of national recognition,” is Lindsey Ferrentino for her play Ugly Lies the Bone.
The award, which includes $25,000 plus the opportunity to reside in the National Arts Club for two weeks to develop work, will be presented to Ferrentino November 14 at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). The event is open to the public, although advance reservations are required.
Ferrentino, who was submitted for the award by the Geffen Playhouse, was among a dozen playwrights nominated for the prize by non-profit theatres around the country: American Conservatory Theater, Arena Stage, Berkeley Rep, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, The Goodman Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, New Dramatists, Primary Stages and The Public Theater.
The jury for the 2016 Kesselring Prize—first awarded by the National Arts Club in 1980—comprised playwrights John Guare and Lynn Nottage and Ann Cattaneo, dramaturg for Lincoln Center Theater. Michael Parva, artistic director of The Directors Company in New York, is the Prize Committee’s artistic advisor.
Past winners include Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Nicky Silver, David Auburn, Melissa James Gibson, Jordan Harris and Mark Schultz. In 2015 the Kesselring was awarded to Lucas Nath for The Christians. Prior to 2016, the Kesselring Prize was bestowed with a $10,000 award.
Ugly Lies the Bone was presented by Roundabout Theater Company in New York, with upcoming productions scheduled in the U.S. and Europe. The play, according to press notes, “depicts the drama that unfolds when a combat veteran returns from Afghanistan in physical and emotional distress and grapples with a new reality that has engulfed her hometown, her relationships and her dreams.”
Begun in 1980 by the National Arts Club, the Kesselring Prize for Playwriting was established by Charlotte Kesselring in memory of her husband and long-time National Arts Club member Joseph Kesselring, author of the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace.
For more information about the Kesselring Prize and The National Arts Club, visit www.thenationalartsclub.org or contact Kesselring@thenationalartsclub.org.