Samuel D. Hunter, Danai Gurira, Mona Mansour and Meg Miroshnik Receive Whiting Writers' Awards

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24 Oct 2012

Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira

Samuel D. Hunter, whose play The Whale is receiving its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway, is among four playwrights to receive a $50,000 Whiting Writers' Award.

The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, which awards a total of $500,000 to writers annually, announced the names of the recipients Oct. 23 at the Times Center. The four playwrights honored mark the most ever in one year that the Whiting Awards have recognized. Since 1985, the Whiting Foundation has presented the awards to "writers of exceptional talent and promise in early career."

"We hope these ten marvelous writers will feel encouraged by Whiting's recognition at this critical early moment," Barbara Bristol, director of the Writers' Program, said during the ceremony. "Our judges have cast their votes not for a specific work, but for the abundant promise of future work they see there. Some of these writers have yet to publish a first book. Of particular note are the four playwrights, all taking on big questions with remarkable adeptness and maturity. That they are so generously represented here is an indication of how rich and vibrant the theatre is today — and will certainly be tomorrow."

In addition to Hunter (The Few, A Bright New Boise), Whiting Awards were presented to actress-playwright Danai Gurira (Eclipsed, The Convert), Mona Mansour (Urge for Going, The Way West, The Hour of Feeling) and Meg Miroshnik (The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Droll {Or, a Stage-Play about the END of Theatre}; The Tall Girls).

Past recipients include Jonathan Franzen, Mark Doty, David Foster Wallace, Jo Ann Beard, Tony Kushner, Sarah Ruhl, Colson Whitehead, CD Wright, Margaret Talbot, Michael Cunningham, Bruce Norris, Tracy K. Smith and John Jeremiah Sullivan.

To learn more about the Whiting Foundation and the selection process for the Whiting Writers' Awards, visit the website at whitingfoundation.org.