David Lindsay-Abaire and Naomi Wallace Win Horton Foote Prize

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
04 Sep 2012

Playwrights David Lindsay-Abaire and Naomi Wallace are the recipients of the 2012 Horton Foote Prize, a biennial honor recognizing works of new American theatre, which will be presented Oct. 1 in Manhattan.



Lindsay-Abaire is recognized with the 2012 Prize for Outstanding New American Play for Good People, while Wallace's The Liquid Plain is the recipient of the 2012 Prize for Promising New American Play. The playwrights were nominated by the Manhattan Theatre Club and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, respectively. Nominated playwrights must be the authors of a minimum of four original full-length plays that have been fully produced by professional theatres.

The playwrights will be honored during a private Manhattan reception at the Lotos Club, where each will receive a $15,000 prize and a limited edition of Keith Carter's photograph of Horton Foote.

Good People centers on an out-of-work Boston cashier who hopes an affluent old flame holds the key to her future. It had its Broadway world premiere with Manhattan Theatre Club in February 2011. The world premiere of The Liquid Plain will begin in July 2013 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The Liquid Plain, according to the Horton Foote Prize committee, "brings to life a group of people whose stories have been lost in history. Set in 18th-century Providence, Rhode Island, two runaway slaves find love and a near-drowned sailor. As the mysteries of their identities come to light, painful truths about the past and present collide and flow into the next generation."

"The 2012 Prize committee was very impressed by the diverse spectrum of work that was nominated," said Foote Prize chairman Michael Wilson in a statement. "Horton was always eager to see new American plays, and curious to read exciting works still in search of production. He knew how difficult it is for writers to get their stories before audiences, having written a number of amazing plays that languished for years waiting to be staged. But his tremendous faith in our American theatre to reveal our national character – our collective American experience – emboldened him to keep going. The committee is grateful to the Marchbanks Family Foundation for establishing this distinguished Prize in Horton’s name, which honors the very best of both our current and future American plays."

He continued, "Good People is an extremely moving, deeply human play that poignantly examines the ways in which class divides our nation, and poses the complicated question of what makes 'good people.' David Lindsay-Abaire is an extraordinary writer, and Good People – perhaps his most mature work to date – is most deserving of the 2012 Horton Foote Prize Award for Outstanding New American Play... Naomi Wallace is an astonishingly imaginative voice, who along with Tennessee Williams, is one of two only two American playwrights to have ever been represented in the La Comédie Française répertoire in over 300 years. Her new play, The Liquid Plain, explores a shameful chapter in our nation's history. Employing both a thrilling and unconventional narrative, Wallace's latest work is our selection for the 2012 Horton Foote Prize Award for Promising New American Play."

A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Young Man from Atlanta, Horton Foote's plays include Dividing the Estate, The Carpetbagger's Children, The Trip to Bountiful, The Traveling Lady, The Chase, The Last of the Thorntons and Talking Pictures, among others. The 92-year-old Foote had been in Hartford, CT, where he was putting the finishing touches on Orphans' Home Cycle, when he died in March 2009. The Orphans' Home Cycle premiered at Hartford Stage prior to its Off-Broadway arrival in the fall of 2009. Primary Stages is currently presenting his trio of one-acts, Harrison, TX Off-Broadway.