The 2010 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Drama to an American Playwright in Mid-Career Award went to Theresa Rebeck, whose works include MauritiusThe Water’s Edge, and The Scene.

The PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Awards for Drama recognize a master American dramatist and an American playwright in mid-career, both of whose literary achievements are vividly apparent in the rich and striking language of their work. The former receives a rare first edition of dramatic literature from Bauman’s Rare Books, the latter a $7,500 stipend. The awards were developed to reflect Laura Pels’ dedication to supporting excellence in American theater, as well as PEN’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding the literary accomplishments of playwrights. As is the case with all PEN awards, the judges of the Pels Awards are all distinguished members of the theater community.

2012 Judges 

Robert Brustein, John Lahr, and Stephen Wadsworth

From the Judges’ Citation

“Over the past twenty years, Theresa Rebeck has created a body of theatrical work striking in its range, depth and fearlessness. A keen satirist and master stylist, she has taken on topics ranging from male-female relationships to politics, television, the theatre, and beyond. Her plays reveal a deep understanding of contemporary culture—the joys, pains, and ironies of life in 21st century America. Wildly prolific and deeply committed to the craft of playwriting, her plays are produced on- and off-Broadway and across the country, making her one of our nation’s most-produced playwrights. In addition to her accomplishments as a Pulitzer-nominated dramatist, screenwriter and novelist, she has given her time as a mentor, to younger writers at the Lark Play Development Center and the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, and to New York City public high school students through the Open Doors program. Theresa has also emerged as a passionate advocate for women in theatre, seeking to level the playing field and address the gender inequalities which still plague our profession. If Theresa Rebeck did not exist, the American Theatre would need to invent her. Fortunately, she has already invented herself, and our culture is so much richer for her achievement.”