The 2022 Yale Drama Series Prize has announced the eight plays chosen for its first-ever Short List.
The eight plays selected, listed in alphabetical order, are Jordan Ramirez Puckett’s A Driving Beat, Lilly Camp’s All Eight, Matthew Paul Olmos’ a home what howls (or the house that was ravine), Seayoung Yim’s Jar of Fat, Candrice Jones’ A Medusa Thread, Libby Heily’s Midnight Showing, Aaron Coleman’s Tell Me I’m Gorgeous at the End of the World, and Iraisa Ann Reilly’s The Jersey Devil is a Papi Chulo.
The 2022 Prize received over 1,500 submissions from 56 countries. The winner of the 2022 Prize will be announced at a later date. Excerpts of the plays will be available for perusal on the New Play Exchange beginning February 27.
The Prize is awarded annually to a play by an emerging playwright after multiple readings by distinguished playwrights of our time. The winner receives the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, as well as publication of the winning play by Yale University Press, and a staged reading.
Traditionally, the Prize was decided by one award-winning playwright, but this year’s Prize was decided by six judges, all past winners of the Prize, who read over 250 plays each. To allow the Prize to better reflect the pluralism of its applicant pool, and to provide a broader context about the state of the American theatre at the emerging level, this judging panel decided to release a Short List in advance of announcing the winning play.
The six panelists are 2008 winner Neil Wechsler for Grenadine, chosen by Edward Albee; 2009 winner Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig for Lidless, chosen by David Hare; 2010 winner Virginia Grise for blu, chosen by David Hare; 2017 winner Jacqueline Goldfinger for Bottle Fly, chosen by Nicholas Wright; 2018 winner Leah Nanako Winkler for God Said This, chosen by Ayad Akhtar; and 2021 winner Rachel Lynett for Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson), chosen by Paula Vogel.
In a joint statement, the panelists said, “We were overwhelmed by the level of talent and ingenuity amongst the submissions, and there was simply no way that we would be able to reflect the sheer diversity of work by choosing one winning play. As the theatre world struggles to become ever more inclusive, we hope this Short List serves to alert the public to a wide cross-section of emerging playwrights who together represent a massive field of different backgrounds, points-of-view, and creative impulses. What they all share is a commitment to the theatrical artform and a knack for creating wildly compelling work.”
Now in its 15th year, the Yale Drama Series Prize is the preeminent playwriting award in cooperation with Yale University Press.