Proof playwright David Auburn (left) was awarded the Kesselring Prize Nov. 19 at the National Arts Club. With him is Directors Company artistic director Michael Parva, who helmed the reading of Auburn's work-in-progress, The Latecomer.
Named for Arsenic and Old Lace playwright, Joseph Kesselring, the Prize was first awarded in 1980 to the playwright who showed the most promise but had not received national recognition. Along with the honor of being named, Kesselring winners also receive a $10,000 cash award. The honorable mention - this year, Jessica Hagedorn for her play, Dogeaters - receives $2,500.
1999's Kesselring winner was Heather McDonald for her An Almost Holy Picture. Past winners have included Nicky Silver, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Jose Rivera, Douglas Wright (whose Quills is now a major motion picture) and Marion McClinton.
— By Christine Ehren