New York, NY – The New York Community Trust has Gethsemane Herron, Zora Howard, C.A. Johnson, Michelle J. Rodriguez, and Cori Thomas as this year’s recipients of the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting. Each artist will be awarded an unrestricted cash prize of $30,000 to support their writing and to alleviate financial obstacles resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established in 1999 by the late theatrical agent, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting is one of the nation’s largest and most significant prizes for playwrights. Since its inception, the award has supported 103 writers with a total of $2.29 million.
One of this year’s recipients, Michelle J. Rodriguez said in a statement, “So many people have made all of this possible. When I got this award and saw who was on the panel, it made me realize that people really are watching out for me and for my career.”
The 2022 Helen Merrill advisory committee members include Lisa McNulty, Ralph Peña, Niegel Smith, Lloyd Suh, and Stephanie Ybarra.