Ucross, WY (November 10, 2020) -- Entries are open November 10 through December 21 for an award that will support and nurture playwrights in the beginning of their careers.
Ucross, a prestigious artist residency program, and The Blank Theatre, a Los Angeles institution celebrating 30 years of imaginative theater, today announced the newly created Ucross + The Blank Theatre – Future of Playwriting Prize, a one-of-a-kind award for young playwrights nationwide. Ucross and The Blank are partnering to showcase the importance of emerging artists across the country and to celebrate the innovative work that is asking questions and evolving theater as we know it. Submissions for the national prize open today through December 21.
The award will be given annually to an emerging playwright (ages 21 to 30) who best personifies the “Future of Theatre”: someone whose voice will shape theater for decades to come, and who will bring new thoughts and views to the American theatrical conversation. Eligibility and submission guidelines can be found at TheBlank.com.
“The Blank has always supported and believed in young playwrights as seen through our Young Playwrights Festival and the incredible work we’ve produced over the years,” said Daniel Henning, the founding artistic director of The Blank Theatre. “This new award, developed alongside the Ucross team, will profoundly impact young, emerging voices by offering them monetary support, uninterrupted time and space during a residency, and a platform to showcase their work.”
The chosen playwright will receive a $5,000 cash award, a professionally produced staged reading in The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series (a new play development program), and a two-week residency at Ucross’s 20,000-acre ranch at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains (including transportation). Two additional finalists will each be awarded $500 cash prizes. There is no entry fee.
At Ucross, artists in residence experience an inspiring combination of solitude and community, with expansive time for private work, as well as lively exchanges at group dinners with fellow artists. Facilities include four visual arts studios, four writers’ studios, and two composers’ studios, and a large loft space suitable for dance and theatre collaborations.
“Ucross is pleased to announce this new award with The Blank, as it expands our long-standing support of new and emerging artists across disciplines,” said Sharon Dynak, president of Ucross.
“For years we have watched the amazing work and development happening at The Blank and are excited to welcome a winning playwright to our campus.”
The Ucross + The Blank Theatre - Future of Playwriting Prize is made possible through the generous support of Deb and Ed Koehler and the Raymond N. Plank Philanthropy Fund.
The Blank was founded in 1990 by Daniel Henning and the theater’s over 70 mainstage productions have won 13 LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, eight LA Weekly Awards, five LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, four NAACP Awards, 20 BackStage Garland Awards, four BroadwayWorld Awards, and received hundreds of other nominations. Named "One of the Best Theatre Companies in America" by the Drama League, The Blank was honored by the LA City Council and won the Hollywood Arts Council's Award "for pursuing artistic excellence and nurturing the next generation of playwrights.”
The Blank has offered thousands of diverse theatre artists the opportunity to stretch their abilities in a safe, nurturing, equal environment and is one of the nation's most important developers of new work and artists. Very early in their careers, The Blank supported Stephen Karam (2016 Tony Award-winner for Best Play for The Humans); Doris Duke Artist Lauren Yee, the second most produced playwright in the United States; Max Posner, whose play The Treasurer was a Critics Choice in the New York Times; Aliza Goldstein (2017 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding World Premiere Play for her ground-breaking play A Singular They; Austin Winsberg (First Date on Broadway and NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist); Kit Steinkellner (creator of Sorry For Your Loss on Facebook Watch), to name only a few.
Ucross was founded in 1981. Since its founding, Ucross has provided more than 2,500 residencies to established and emerging artists. Ucross provides a platform that nurtures and supports artists, many on the eve of major career breakouts. Ucross has been home to 10 Pulitzer Prize winners, eight MacArthur “genius” grantees, seven Tony Award winners, six National Book Award winners, and two Academy Award winners. Alumni include Billy Porter, Colson Whitehead, Yaa Gyasi, Annie Proulx, Terry Tempest Williams, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ann Patchett, Ricky Ian Gordon, and Adam Guettel.