Anne Washburn

Three awards from PEN and the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater honor a Grand Master of American Theater, a mid-career playwright with an outstanding voice, and an emerging playwright who demonstrates great promise. The PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career awards a cash prize of $7,500 to an American playwright in mid-career whose literary achievements are vividly apparent in the rich and striking language of his or her work.

From the Judges’ Citation

Anne Washburn has been capturing our theatrical imaginations for well over a decade. A slippery narrative shapechanger, she never seems to write the same play twice, and her adventurous versatility has thrust her onto our greatest stages with a rare combination of structural daring, linguistic mischief, and commanding wit. Whether she’s inventing an entirely new language as she had in The Internationalist, creating an imagined science fiction world through the vocabulary of mime as was witnessed in A Devil At Noon, or meditating on a post-electric world which was so hilariously and poignantly wrought in her masterful Mr. Burns, one never quite knows what to expect from her brilliant, always changing body of work. An original member of the trailblazing company, 13P, she is more than making good on her early promise. It is with tremendous enthusiasm and admiration that the committee awards the Mid-Career Playwriting Prize to Anne Washburn.”

2015 Judges

Kathleen Chalfant is an American actress who works in the theatre, television and film. She was nominated for a Tony award for her work in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and won the Drama Desk and numerous other awards for her portrayal of Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson’s play Wit. She is the recipient of 3 Obie awards and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Cooper Union as well as The Sidney Kingsley Award for her body of work. She is currently a member of the ensemble of The Affair on Showtime and plays the President of Hudson University on Law and Order: SVU. Film work includes Duplicity, Five Corners, Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight and the recently released Isn’t it Delicious. She is also a member of the faculty of The New School for Dramateaching in the MFA program in acting.

Ellen McLaughlin‘s plays include: Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Tongue of a Bird, Helen, The Persians, Penelope, Septimus and Clarissa, and Ajax in Iraq. Regional and international venues include: The Guthrie Theater, Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Almeida Theater, London, Intiman, Mark Taper Forum and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Off Broadway: New York Theater Workshop, National Actors’ Theater, CSC and the Public Theater. As an actor she is best known for having originated the role of the Angel in Angels in America, appearing in all American productions through the original Broadway run, 1993-1994.

Adam Rapp has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships for his plays, stories and novels. He received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career, won the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a 2006 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play, Red Light Winter. Rapp is also the author of young adult novels 33 Snowfish, Punkzilla, a 2010 Printz Honor Book, and Under the Wolf, Under the Dog, which was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His new adult novel, Know Your Beholder, will be published by Little, Brown & Co. in March. 

Past winners

Richard Greenberg, Paula Vogel, Suzan-Lori Parks, Charles Mee, Jr., Tony Kushner, Craig Lucas, Lynn Nottage, Dael Orlandersmith, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Naomi Iizuka, Sarah Ruhl, Nilo Cruz, Theresa Rebeck, Marcus Gardley, Will Eno, Adam Rapp, Kirsten Greenidge and Donald Margulies. 

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