2016 Playwriting Competition Awards
The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation extends congratulations to the winners of its 2016 playwriting competition. Of the 267 submissions to this year’s competition (the largest number AABBF has ever received), the judges have chosen the following award recipients:
- First Prize ($3,000): Donja R. Love, of Jersey City, N.J., for Sugar in Our Wounds. Set in the American South during the Civil War, this extraordinary play tells the tragic story of love between two slaves in the year before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
- Second Prize ($1,500): Sevan K. Greene, of New York, N.Y., for The House of In Between. Recounting the story of a hijra clan in Patna, India, the play examines the crisis faced by a trans community whose traditional, once-honored way of life is degraded and threatened by social and political change.
- Honorable Mention ($500): Daniel Loftman Hurewitz, of Brooklyn, N.Y., for Reclamation. A dramatized biography of Bayard Rustin, the play provides an inside look at power struggles within the African-American civil rights movement and the impact of homophobia on Rustin’s life and career.
- Honorable Mention ($500): T. Berto, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, for ROW. The play focuses on Sonny, an Aboriginal boy consigned to Canada’s Residential School System; abused by the priests who run his school, Sonny later becomes a sex worker who struggles with his commodification as a “kept” man.
- Honorable Mention ($500): Will Snider, of Del Mar, Calif., for Strange Men. Set in Uganda following the murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato in 2011, the play explores the fraught relationships between an Indian restaurant owner, his black African employee, and a white American Peace Corps volunteer in a dangerously homophobic environment.
- Honorable Mention ($500): Lachlan Philpott, of Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia, for The Trouble with Harry. The play is based on the true story of Eugenia Falleni, who for decades lived as Harry Crawford, a working-class man in early 20th-century Sydney. Scandal erupted when Crawford’s biological sex was revealed during his trial for the murder of his wife Annie Birkett.
In addition to the prizewinning playwrights, six others made it into the competition’s final round: John Barrow, for Lillian Paula Carson; Barry Brennessel, for Sideways Down the Sky; Catrin Fflur Huws, for To Kill a Machine; Robin Rice, for Alice in Black and White; Gene Franklin Smith, for Bachelor Hall; and Dale Turner, for Uncle Harold [The Naked Young Man].