Laura Marks

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

We are pleased to honor the work of Laura Marks. A recent graduate of Juilliard’s writing program, the youthful Ms. Marks has written four plays. Two of them, “Mine” and “Bethany,” have already been produced extensively to critical acclaim, and the New York production of “Bethany” was a nominee for the 2013 Lucille Lortel Outstanding Play Award. Ms. Marks chooses her subjects fearlessly. No other playwright has so forthrightly taken on the complex emotions of a mother’s childbearing and post-partum panic, as she did in “Mine”. And “Bethany” is a horror story rooted in absolute reality, portraying the appalling toll exacted from an unremarkable middle class woman caught in the vise grip of today’s harsh economic conditions. The judges read both of these plays and were dazzled by Ms. Marks’ command of dialogue, character, and structure. With the skill of an artist far beyond her years, she knows how to make an audience desperate to find out what comes next. We feel the same way about her nascent 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.