Emerging Playwright Keri Healey Wins 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for Torso

By Michael Gioia
March 19, 2013

The American Theatre Critics Association will present Keri Healey with the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright in April at the Humana New Plays Festival at Actors' Theatre of Louisville.



The Osborn Award recognizes Healey's play Torso, which premiered in March 2012 at Printer's Devil Theater in Seattle, directed by David Bennett.

The honor is designed to "recognize the work of an author who has not yet achieved national stature." Last year's Osborn Award went to Darren Canady for Brothers of the Dust.

Torso is described as "a mixture of comedy and tragedy that examines humanity's propensity for violence and revenge. Inspired by events in her own life, Healey posits a drunken woman riding through the night on a mission, escorted by a surly cabdriver with whom she once had an abortive date. Her odyssey is to make sense of two tragedies: the recent death of the sister of what was supposed to be a minor illness, and the news that a high school friend has committed a sensational murder. Our judges called the script gripping and a balancing act of serpentine plotting."

Healey's other works include Don't You Dare Love Me, The Ikea Cycle: Tiny Domestic Dramas (co-written with Bret Fetzer), Parrot Fever (Or, Lies I’ve Told in Chat Rooms) and Cherry Cherry Lemon.

The Osborn Award was established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. It carries a $1,000 prize, funded by the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association. Honorees are recognized in The Best Plays Theater Yearbook, edited by Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, the annual chronicle of United States theatre now in its 92nd year. Making the selection from plays nominated by ATCA members is the ATCA New Plays Committee, chaired by Wm. F. Hirschman. That committee also selects honorees for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award.

ATCA also presents the Francesca Primus Prize, funded by the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, honoring outstanding contributions to the American theatre by female artists who have not yet achieved national prominence. Annually it makes a recommendation for the Regional Theater Tony Award presented by the American Theatre Wing/Broadway League and votes on inductions into the Theater Hall of Fame.

For more information on ATCA, visit AmericanTheatreCritics.org.