A new award has been named in honor of Tony Award-winning playwright and director Arthur Laurents and his late partner of 52 years, Tom Hatcher.
The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award will be given annually for an un-produced, full-length play of social relevance by an emerging American playwright. The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation will provide a $50,000 cash award to the selected playwright and a grant of $100,000 to go directly towards the production costs of the play's premiere at a nonprofit theatre.
The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award is the first major award for playwrighting to be named in honor of a gay couple.
Submissions for the inaugural award will be accepted from invited applicants only, between June 15, 2010, and Sept. 15, 2010, and reviewed by a panel chosen by the trustees of the foundation. The recipient will be notified on March 15, 2011, and the premiere of the selected work must be scheduled within one calendar year.
Arthur Laurents, the librettist for West Side Story; Hallelujah, Baby!; Anyone Can Whistle; and Gypsy, began writing for the theatre more than 50 years ago with the play Home of the Brave. Among his other works are The Time of the Cuckoo, Jolson Sings Again and 2 Lives. Laurents received a Best Director Tony Award for the original production of La Cage aux Folles. He also directed the Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Patti LuPone revivals of Gypsy as well as Invitation to a March, I Can Get it for You Wholesale and Anyone Can Whistle. Laurents' candid autobiography, published a few years back, is titled "Original Story By." His new tome is titled "Mainly on Directing: Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals." Laurents is currently represented on Broadway with the new revival of West Side Story at the Palace Theatre.
Tom Hatcher, who died in October 2006, began his career as an actor but moved into real estate as a contractor and then as a developer.