By Carey Purcell
12 May 2014
The Award was announced by Philadelphia Theatre Company's executive producing director Sara Garonzik May 7 at their spring PTC@Play reading of American Canvas by Bill Cain, the winner of the inaugural Terrence McNally New Play Award.
"Philadelphia Theatre Company is thrilled to work with playwright Martin Zimmerman on his scintillating play," Garonzik said in a statement. "We are looking forward to developing Let Me Count The Ways to its fullest potential, and giving Martín the artistic support he needs to continue his process."
"Inspired by the true story of the first modern pornographic publication, Let Me Count The Ways follows a battle between the libertine poet Pietro Aretino and the pious bishop Gian Matteo Giberti over the mind, loins, and soul of Clement VII, the first post-Reformation pope," press notes state. "Also caught in the struggle between Aretino and Giberti is the fate of 16 sexually explicit prints (entitled 'The Ways') that will forever transform the history of print media."
Zimmerman's plays also include Seven Spots On The Sun, White Tie Ball, The Making Of A Modern Folk Hero and The Solid Sand Below,
"We are so pleased to honor an adventurous new voice in the third year of this prestigious award," McNally said in a statement. "In Martin's play there is the challenge to define art on terms that will shake the very branches of modern society. His style resonates with bright candor, incisive wit, and a romanticism which feels both earthy and deeply provocative. There is enormous promise with this particular piece, and we anticipate great things out of its continued development."
McNally's newest play Mothers and Sons was recently nominated for a Tony Award. His others include Bad Habits; The Ritz; The Rink; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Master Class; Ragtime; The Full Monty; and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. He is an Emmy Award winner for "Andre's Mother," a precursor to Mothers and Sons.
The Terrence McNally New Play Award is a cash prize given annually to recognize a new play that celebrates the transformative power of art. The Award will also include a year of development support at PTC, including readings as well as administrative support and networking to help manage the future of the play beyond its time at PTC.
Visit philadelphiatheatrecompany.org for more information.