L Morgan Lee has been named the 2021 recipient of The Mark O'Donnell Prize, presented by The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons. The award is named after the late Tony-winning co-book writer of Hairspray and given to emerging theatre artists.
Lee is an Obie award-winning performer and theatre maker most known for her performance in Michael R. Jackson’s musical A Strange Loop at the aforementioned Playwrights Horizons; she'll reprise her work in the show's Washington, D.C. bow at Woolly Mammoth, beginning later this month. She has the distinction of being the first openly transgender woman to originate a role in a Pulitzer Prize-winning piece of theatre. Most recently, Lee was cast to portray artist Lili Elbe in a stage adaptation of the novel The Danish Girl, now being workshopped in the U.K. Also a writer, Lee is developing a new play entitled The Women, which was seen in Ars Nova’s 2021 Vision Residency.
The $15,000 prize includes use of The Mark O’Donnell Theater at The Actors Fund Arts Center for one week to develop a reading of a new work as well as counseling from The Actors Fund on two of the major challenges faced by emerging artists: how to apply for affordable housing and obtaining health insurance.