Donald Margulies

The PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards recognize three playwrights  for the following honors: a specially commissioned art object will be presented to a master American dramatist, in recognition of his or her body of work; a cash prize of $7,500 will be awarded to an American playwright in mid-career, whose literary achievements are vividly apparent in the rich and striking language of his or her work; and a cash prize of $2,500 will be awarded to an emerging American playwright whose work to date has demonstrated initial critical success and poses great promise of further dramatic achievement.

2014 Judges

John Lithgow, Elizabeth Streb, and Maria Tucci

From the Judges’ Citation

Donald Margulies has already produced enough plays to fill the quota of any playwright’s career. But judging from his unflagging creative energy, he has many more plays ahead of him. For this reason, and for the high quality of his varied work, the judges have chosen to honor Donald Margulies at mid-career. In memorable plays like “Sight Unseen,” “Collected Stories,” “Time Stands Still,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Dinner With Friends,” Margulies has explored the strains on human relationships wrought by ambition, self-doubt, the loss of integrity, the loss of love, the passage of time, and the persistence of traumatic memory. But if his work grapples with the serious business of life, it is shot through with sly, literate humor and it is far from grim. And though all the plays listed above are essentially realistic works, he loves to surprise us: he is capable of fantastical yarn-spinning (“Shipwrecked! An Entertainment”), surrealistic allegory (“The Model Apartment”), and show-stopping theatrics (“The Loman Family Picnic”). Margulies is a respected citizen of the American theater: while he works in other literary genres, he is deeply committed to the stage; he nurtures a new generation of playwrights as a professor of English and Theater Studies at Yale; and not least among his many attributes as a dramatist, actors simply love to perform his work. The judges (two of whom are actors) are pleased to name him the winner of the PEN/Laura Pels Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career.

Past winners

Arthur Miller and Richard Greenberg, Edward Albee and Paula Vogel, Horton Foote and Suzan-Lori Parks, Richard Foreman and Charles Mee Jr., Maria Irene Fornes and Tony Kushner, John Guare and Craig Lucas, Lanford Wilson and Lynn Nottage, Wallace Shawn and Dale Orlandersmith, Adrienne Kennedy and Stephen Adly Guirgis, A.R Gurney and Naomi Iizuka, Richard Nelson and Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard and Nilo Cruz, David Mamet and Theresa Rebeck, David Henry Hwang and Marcus Gardley, Christopher Durang and Will Eno and Adam Rapp, Larry Kramer and Kirsten Greenridge.

Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.