2014 Playwriting Competition Winners Chosen

The officers and advisory board of the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s playwriting competition:

The first prize of $3,000 goes to Jen Silverman, for her play The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, a drama set in London and South Africa. Against the backdrop of the 2010 World Cup competition, held in South Africa, the play follows a young South African woman’s search for her former lover, a lesbian activist who established a safe house in Soweto for victims of “corrective rape.” The judges’ decision to award first prize to this beautiful, emotionally wrenching work was unanimous—a first in the history of the foundation’s literary competitions.

For the second prize, there was a tie between Susan Miller, for her play Average American, and Robert Matson, for his play Mr. and Mister. Centering on two television writers, Miller’s Average American goes behind the scenes during the development of American TV’s first-ever program focusing on the lives of lesbian women. Matson’s Mr. and Mister, set on the Great Plains in the late 1860s, is a gay Western recounting the deepening love between two highly unlikely romantic partners—a rancher and the teacher he hires to educate his orphaned nieces and nephews. Both writers will receive the full $1,500 award.

Three honorable mention awards of $500 each go to Hal Corley, for Married North, a family/social drama set in the Washington, D.C., suburbs during the federal government’s antigay witch hunts of the 1950s; to Hansol Jung, for Cardboard Piano, which records antigay violence in an African village and its aftereffects on both victim and perpetrator; and to A. Rey Pamatmat, for Pure, an inventive theatrical work exploring the life and thought of British mathematician Alan Turing.

Runners-up include Elizabeth Archer’s V+R Forever, Allan Baker’s Eskandar, Ted Bacino and Rufus Cadigan’s The Shakespeare Conspiracy, Dave Florez’s Kick It, Bridgette Dutta Portman’s Caenis and Poseidon, and James Rosenfield’s Michelangelo and Tommaso. The twelve finalists (winners and runners-up) were selected from 254 competition entries—the largest number of submissions the competition has ever received.

We sincerely thank all who participated, and we extend great congratulations to the winners and other finalists. Guidelines for the 2015 playwriting competition will be posted on this website in January.