Cover art of the Writing for Young Audiences Issue: A cartoon illustration of someone writing on a typewriter that is illuminated by a table light
News Roundup: May/Jun 2020
News Roundup - May/Jun 2020

Mason Named 2020 Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award Recipient

Los Angeles, CA – Celebration Theatre announced DG member Roger Q. Mason is the 2020 recipient of the Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award.

Mason honed his writing skills while earning degrees from Princeton University, Middlebury College, and Northwestern University. His work, which includes The White Dress and Lavender Men, often uses the lens of history to chip away at the cultural biases which divide rather than unite us.

The Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award is presented annually by the historic Celebration Theatre and honors a groundbreaking LGBTQ playwright whose work has entertained, inspired, and empowered the community. This award celebrates an artist whose body of work has become a vital part of the evolving conversation around the social impact of arts activism.

Celebration Theatre is our nation’s oldest, continuously producing LGBTQ theatre. It was founded in 1982 when gay rights pioneer, arts educator, and creator Chuck Rowland leased a storefront in Silverlake. Since then, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit company has consistently mounted theatrical productions representative of, and in support of, the queer community: always with a sharp focus on inclusion, visibility, and pride.


Arbery Wins 2020 Whiting Award for Drama

DG member Will Arbery received the 2020 Whiting Award for Drama and a $50,000 prize. Arbery is a playwright whose plays include Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons), Plano (Clubbed Thumb), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (New Neighborhood), and Wheelchair (3 Hole Press).

Since 1985, the Foundation has supported creative writing through the Whiting Awards, given annually to ten emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. The awards are based on early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come. The Foundation does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations. Rather, we invite nominators from across the country whose work brings them in contact with individuals of extraordinary talent to propose a single candidate each. Both the nominators and selectors are anonymous.


DG Council Election Results

The results from the 2020 DG Council election are in! New national Council members include Shaina Taub and Cori Thomas, and regional Council members include Stephen Kaplan (Northeast), Cheryl Coons (Mid-Atlantic/Midwest), Pamela Turner (South), Kate Danley (West), and Larry Dean Harris (Southern California).

Council members re-elected for another term include Kristen Anderson Lopez, Kristoffer Diaz, Amanda Green, David Lindsay-AbaireAndrew Lippa, Austin PendletonNikkole Salter, and Charlayne Woodard.

Amy VonMacek, DG Manager of Business Affairs, says that as of this election, “Council has gender parity among voting members and is more diverse than it has ever been,” and that “the membership has the greatest regional representation outside of NYC that it’s ever had.”


COVID-19 Resources

As this issue goes to press, we want our members to know that the Dramatists Guild office is open. As always, if you have business-related questions, you may call (212) 398-9366 or email

If you need financial assistance, please visit the Dramatists Guild Foundation website and complete their online application for an Emergency Grant:

And our website is constantly being updated with information and resources available to our members. Please visit


Mirza and Lew Awarded 2020 Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre

New York, NY – DG members Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew, who is also a Guild Council member, have been named most promising musical theatre librettist by the 2020 Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre.

Mirza and Lew are married playwrights sharing a Mellon Foundation National Playwright residency at Ma-Yi Theater. Their Rodgers Award-winning musical Bhangin’ It (co-book writers with composer Sam Willmott) is upcoming at La Jolla Playhouse and McCarter Theatre in 2021.

The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of DG member Edward L. Klebah, best known as the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line. Kleban’s will made provisions for annual prizes to be given to the most promising lyricist and librettist in American musical theatre. The award is managed by New Dramatists and application information can be found in our online Resource Directory:


Lia Romeo receives College Collaboration Project Commission

Brooklyn, NY – The Farm Theater in Brooklyn, NY has awarded their 2020/1 College Collaboration Project Commission to DG member Lia Romeo. The Collaboration Project, now in its seventh year, partners with colleges across the country to commission work from an early career playwright. This year’s participating colleges are Centre College in Danville, KY and Wells College in Aurora, NY.

Lia Romeo’s plays include The Forest, ConnectedGreen Whales, Reality, and The Lucky Ones. She is the recipient of the 2019 City Theatre National Short Playwriting Award and the 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts. Lia currently teaches creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Solis and Taylor Inducted to Texas Institute of Letters

San Antonio, TX – DG members Octavio Solis and Regina Taylor are included in the 2020 honorees of the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL), the distinguished honor society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. The TIL’s membership consists of the state’s most respected writers – including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Academy Award, Americas Award, International Latino Book Award, and the MacArthur “Genius” grant. Membership is based on ongoing and exceptional literary accomplishment. Members of the Texas Institute of Letters have overwhelmingly approved nineteen writers to join the ranks of the TIL this year.

Dr. Carmen Tafolla, President of the Texas Institute of Letters states, “The move to diversify and include a wide variety of literary genres in our analysis of literary accomplishment has continued to bring us a rich base of outstanding word-crafters. We are extremely proud of the exceptional work these individuals represent. These nineteen literary masters and innovators span the creative gamut from stage plays to song lyrics and from novels to poetry, journalism, short stories, publishing, children’s works, and scholarly books.”


Bublitz Wins 2020 Will Glickman Award

San Francisco, CARipped, by DG member Rachel Bublitz, won the 2020 Will Glickman Award for the best new play to premiere in the Bay Area in 2019. The play, about a complicated sexual encounter on a college campus, was directed by Lisa Steindler and produced by Z Space.

Bublitz is the award-winning and internationally produced author of The Night Witches, Burst, and the upcoming The Summer I Howled, to name a few. According to her NPX bio, “Ripped was developed around the country with readings at the Problematic Play Festival, San Francisco Playhouse, Athena Theatre Company, Wyoming Theater Festival, and the Road Theatre Company.”

Administered through theater service nonprofit, Theatre Bay Area, The Will Glickman Foundation funds the $4,000 award and has been presented annually since 1984. The award is named after the playwright and screenwriter who received a Tony nomination for the 1955 musical comedy Plain and Fancy. This year’s award was voted on by Bay Area theatre critics.


2020 William Inge Theatre Festival Honors Femia and Nottage

Independence, KS – DG member Gina Femia and DG Council member and Secretary Lynn Nottage have been honored by the 39th annual Inge Festival.

Femia is the recipient of the Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award, which recognizes substantial early contributions to the contemporary American stage. She has written over 30 full-length plays which have been developed/produced/ seen at MCC, Page 73, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Rattlestick Theatre, New Georges, Powerhouse, Theatre of NOTE, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Panndora Productions and Project Y, among others.

The New Voices Award is named for the late Otis L. Guernsey, respected theatre critic and scholar. As the first editor of The Dramatists Guild Quarterly as well as the annual Best Plays anthology, he was a champion of new plays, and a longtime attendee and advocate of the Inge Festival.

Nottage is the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award. She is the first woman to win two Pulitzers for Drama and joins August Wilson as the only other African American dramatist with two Pulitzer recognitions. She is an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, and the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, and the Doris Duke Artists Award, among others.


Madhuri Shekar Recipient of 2020 Lanford Wilson Award

New York, NY – The Dramatists Guild of America is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2020 Lanford Wilson Award is Madhuri Shekar. The award will be presented at the Guild’s annual awards ceremony on Monday, July 27, 2020, at Joe’s Pub in New York.

The Lanford Wilson Award is named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony-nominated playwright—and longtime Dramatists Guild Council member—who passed away in 2011. The award was established by a generous contribution from Wilson’s estate, and a matching contribution from the Guild; it is presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a dramatist based primarily on their work as an early career playwright. Previous recipients include Michael Lew, Chisa HutchinsonLauren Gunderson, Martyna Majok, Isaac Gomez, R. Eric Thomas, Abe Koogler, and Charly Evon Simpson. Madhuri Shekar’s plays include In Love and Warcraft, A Nice Indian Boy, Queen, House of Joy, and Dhaba on Devon Avenue. Her audio play Evil Eye was named one of the top ten Audible titles of 2019. She is a graduate of the Juilliard playwriting program and a fellow at New Dramatists.


Goodwin Named New Director of the Fine Arts Center

Colorado Springs, CO – DG member Idris (pronunciation: Ee-drees) Goodwin, an accomplished playwright, poet, director, educator and organizer, will be the next director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC), effective May 1, 2020.

Goodwin brings extensive experience as a visionary arts leader and actively serves on the national advisory boards of Theatre for Young Audiences USA, the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, as well as New Mexico’s 516Arts. He is the recipient of multiple awards from the Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and The National Endowment for The Arts, and was voted Teacher of the Year at Colorado College in 2015. Goodwin holds an MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in film, video and screenwriting from Columbia College. Most recently, Goodwin worked as producing artistic director of Stage One Family Theater in Louisville, KY. He taught for six years in the department of Theatre and Dance at Colorado College and wrote plays and poetry, directed, and performed at the FAC; CC; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and its Gallery of Contemporary Art; Colorado Springs Philharmonic; on 91.5 KRCC; and in Denver at Denver Center Theatre, Curious Theatre Company, and MCA Denver.

Goodwin will lead strategic direction and manage operations for the FAC, serving both Colorado College and the Colorado Springs community. The position is currently held by FAC Director Erin Hannan, who announced her intended departure in Nov. 2019.


Grays and Harris Win Awards at NTC

New York, NY – DG members were recognized at the 2019 National Theatre Conference in December at the Player’s Club in New York City. Donnetta Lavina Grays received the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, which is presented annually in recognition of an outstanding emerging playwright.

Jeremy O. Harris received the Paul Green Award which recognizes and encourages excellence in new professional theatre talent and is presented to a young theatre artist. It is presented to a young theatre artist selected by the National Theatre Conference’s Person of the Year. Founded in 1925, The National Theatre Conference is a not-for-profit organization made up of distinguished members of the American Theatre Community.


Harris is Recipient of 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize

New Haven, CT – DG member Aleshea Harris (What to Send Up When it Goes Down, Is God Is) and Julia Cho (Aubergine, Office Hour) received the Windham-Campbell Prizes for drama and an unrestricted grant of $165,000 each.

The Windham-Campbell Prizes were established in 2013 by novelist and playwright Donald Windham in memory of his partner, Sandy M. Campbell. Prize recipients are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously. The mission of the prize is to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers working in English around the world with the opportunity to focus on their work. Eight writers are awarded the prize annually in the categories of drama, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.


Bykowski Wins Getchell New Play Contest

Greensboro, NC – The 2020 winner of SETC’s Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest is 25 Light Years from Now by DG member Rachel Bykowski. A Chicago playwright, Bykowski writes to explore the many facets of the female identity.

The Getchell New Play Contest is dedicated to the discovery, development and publicizing of worthy new plays and playwrights. Submissions are accepted between March 1 and June 1, annually. One winning playwright receives a $1,000 cash award and an all-expense paid trip to the annual SETC Convention, where both a critique and staged reading of the winning play are held. The winning play is also considered for online publication and a feature in Southern Theatre magazine.