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DG Awards Night: July 29, 2019

DG Awards Night: July 29, 2019

THE DRAMATISTS GUILD OF AMERICA CELEBRATES AWARD WINNERS AT THE AMERICAN AIRLINES THEATRE 

The Dramatists Guild of America presented their annual awards on Monday, July 29, 2019, at The American Airlines Theatre Penthouse Lobby in New York. Hosting the annual event was DG Council member and co-chair of their Awards Committee, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

This evening began with the presentation of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award, presented by DG Awards Committee member Jireh Holder, given this year to two writers, Heidi Schreck and Amy Herzog. The Horton Foote Award, sponsored by the Richenthal Foundation, is presented to a dramatist whose work seeks to plumb the ineffable nature of being human.

DG Council member Alfred Uhry presented the Flora Roberts Award to his longtime friend and collaborator Martha Clarke. The Flora Roberts Award, administered by the Dramatists Guild Foundation, is presented to a dramatist in recognition of distinguished work in the theater and to encourage the continuation of that work.

Last year’s Frederick Loewe Award recipient, DG Council member Kirsten Childs, presented the award to her successor, Matthew Sklar, composer of The Prom. The Frederick Loewe Award, given by the Frederick Loewe Foundation and presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a composer recognizes achievement in a theatrical score presented in New York during the previous theatrical season.

The audience was then treated to a performance from The Prom by Broadway cast members Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla, accompanied by Barry Spatz.

The Dramatists Guild’s Executive Director of Business Affairs and Treasurer of the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, Ralph Sevush, presented the DLDF Defender Award to Svetlana Mintcheva and the National Coalition Against Censorship. The DLDF Defender Award is presented by the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund’s board to recognize an individual or group’s efforts in support of free expression in the dramatic arts.

Last year’s co-recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award, Isaac Gomez, presented to his successors, Abe Koogler and Charly Evon Simpson. The Lanford Wilson Award was established by the estate of Lanford Wilson and is presented by the Dramatists Guild Council to a dramatist based primarily on their work as an early career playwright.

DG Council President Doug Wright presented a few of the new initiatives on which the Guild is embarking, such as a new podcast calledThe Dramatist Presents: Talkback, which will debut in October; the Education Committee’s #dontchangethewords initiative; the Dramatists Guild Institute’s new certificate program; and the Guild’s continued support of copyright protection for all writers.

The final award of the evening, the Hull-Warriner Award, was presented by last year’s recipient Jocelyn Bioh (who won for her play School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play) to Heidi Schreck, who won the award for What the Constitution Means to Me. Accepting the award for Heidi, who was performing in her play at the Helen Hayes Theatre, was her mother, Sherry Chastain Schreck. The Hull-Warriner Award is the only award given by dramatists to dramatists; it is presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to an author or team of authors in recognition of their play dealing with controversial subjects involving the fields of political, religious, or social mores of the times.

To close the evening, the newest Dramatists Guild Council member, composer/lyricist Michael R. Jackson (accompanied by Karl Saint Lucy), performed a song from his recently-closed musical, A Strange Loop.

All photo credits are by Douglas Gorenstein Photography. For more information about the event or about the Dramatists Guild, contact Tari Stratton at the Dramatists Guild of America at (212) 398-9366 x20, or tstratton@dramatistsguild.com.