AMERICAN THEATRE | Joshua Harmon, Nicole Cox Win Inaugural Theater J Prizes

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Theater J has introduced the inaugural winners of two new play prizes aimed toward recognizing new performs that commemorate, discover, and/or battle with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish expertise. Joshua Harmon’s Prayer for the French Republic has been awarded the Theater J Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize, and Nicole Cox’s Abomination has been awarded the Theater J Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize. The Vrandenburg Prize comes with a $15,000 award and the Abramson Prize consists of $3,000 and a stage studying.

The Vradenburg Prize, awarded to a longtime playwright, is devoted to the reminiscence of philanthropist, playwright, and Alzheimer’s analysis advocate Trish Vradenburg, who served on Theater J’s council for 13 years. For this inaugural yr, 47 performs had been submitted and had been adjudicated by Theater J employees. Finalists for the prize had been A Mannequin Metropolis by Brooke Berman, and Image of a Home in Shaker Heights by David Grimm. Harmon’s successful play, Prayer for the French Republic, was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Membership, and is a mirrored image and exploration of the historical past of trauma and prejudice inside 5 generations of 1 Jewish household.

“Because the inventive director of a Jewish theatre firm, it’s uncommon for me to learn a play that transforms my understanding of what it’s to be Jewish in America immediately,” mentioned Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr in an announcement. “Set in France, Prayer for the French Republic is about being Jewish, being American, and being a part of a tribe. It’s transferring, highly effective, and one of the beautiful new performs I’ve learn in a few years. A author of stage and display, Trish Vradenburg was one of many funniest individuals I’ve ever met—I do know she would have seen in Harmon a kindred spirit, in search of to light up the shadows of our world with humor and pleasure.”

Added Harmon in an announcement: “After I first started engaged on this play greater than 5 years in the past, my curiosity concerning the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe led me to need to write a play about what was occurring over there; I couldn’t have anticipated, once I first set out, the extent to which we’d quickly be grappling with those self same wrenching questions over right here. I’m grateful to Theater J and the committee which selected my play to obtain this honor, and eagerly anticipate the second after we can as soon as once more collect, in individual, to expertise a narrative collectively in a theatre.”

The Abramson Prize, awarded to an rising lady, trans, or non-binary playwright in recognition of a brand new play, is devoted to the reminiscence of philanthropist and enterprise capitalist Patty Abramson. For its inaugural yr, 85 performs had been submitted and had been learn by greater than 40 members of the Theater J group, together with artists, council members, and employees. The winner and two finalists had been selected by a committee made up of philanthropist Michele Berman, director Johanna Gruenhut, Theater J managing director Jojo Ruf, and director and Abramson’s stepdaughter Leigh Silverman. Finalists had been Belfast Type, by Margot Connolly, and Grains of Wheat, by Abigail Weaver.

Cox’s successful play, Abomination, explores identification, religion, and belonging by a small group of queer yeshiva graduates who go to courtroom to carry a conversion remedy group accountable for its years of abuse. The play will obtain a workshop this December.

“What an honor to win the inaugural Patty Abramson prize,” mentioned Cox in an announcement. “It’s thrilling to be included in her large circle of affect, and I’m deeply grateful to Theater J for recognizing and supporting my play.”

Joshua Harmon’s performs embody Bad Jews (Roundabout Underground; Roundabout/Laura Pels; West Finish), Vital Different (Roundabout; Broadway/Sales space Theatre), Admissions (Lincoln Heart Theater; West Finish), and Skintight (Roundabout). His performs have been produced throughout the nation together with on the Magic, Geffen Playhouse, Studio Theatre, Theater Wit, Speakeasy, and Actor’s Specific, and internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Eire, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and all through the U.Ok. He’s a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow and below fee at Manhattan Theatre Membership and Roundabout, the place he’s an Affiliate Artist. Schooling: Juilliard.

Nicole Cox is a author primarily based in Washington, D.C. Her play Workplace of the Speaker received Finest Drama at Capital Fringe 2019, and her poem “I Need Lou Reed” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s had productions and readings on the 1-Minute Play Competition, Kennedy Heart’s Web page-to-Stage, and Residents Play Competition. Paula Vogel and Dan O’Brien invited Nicole to workshop her play, All Different Nights, on the Sewanee Writers’ Convention. Her work is printed in literary magazines together with American Guide Evaluation, Pill Journal, Cut up Lip, Electrical Literature, Briar Cliff Evaluation, and Hanging Free. Nicole earned her MFA from Emerson School.

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