The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale just rewarded nine writers the Windham-Campbell Prize, which amounts to $150,000 each. There are three lucky playwrights in the mix — Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Hannah Moscovitch, and Abbie Spallen.
Jacobs-Jenkins, an American playwright, is best known for An Octoroon and Appropriate, both of which premiered in the past five years and won Obies. Spallen, an Irish playwright, says on news of the award, ““I do try to be brave, and I’m aware that I can produce work that may not be palatable to all. Sometimes that can feel quite the lonely pursuit. Thank you so very much. I’ll stagger on. Less lonely than before.” She’s currently being commissioned by on plays for the Abbey in Dublin, the Lyric in Belfast, and the National Theatre, Royal Court and Tricyle Theatre in London but also has plans to write and direct her first short film.
Moscovitch, a Canadian playwright, has risen to critical acclaim in the past few years. The Playwrights Guild of Canada says of her,
“Hannah possesses a unique ability to combine the tragic, the humorous and the shocking while also delivering an intellectually and emotionally complex work. The Globe and Mail hailed The Russian Play as ‘that rarest of all theatrical experiments: a clever satire with a beating heart’, while Variety Magazine’s review of East
of Berlin noted that ‘[Moscovitch is] not afraid to plunge right through areas that others might consider poor taste in order to come out the other side in search of a deeper truth.’”
I’m just thrilled to see a man of color and two women receive funding to make art they believe in. Getting paid to do the work is a sad state of affairs in the modern theatre and I’m always thrilled to see news of any green getting thrown at writers who will hopefully improve the entire artistic climate. HURRAH FOR PLAYWRIGHTS WHO GET PAID!