Tina Howe

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 Master American Dramatist recognizes a master playwright with the presentation of a specially commissioned art object. 

From the Judges’ Citation

Tina Howe has written on everything from soup (The Art of Dining) to nuts (Painting Churches???) with stops along her antic, fearless way to look at art, babies, summer vacations, and what she calls “the passion of old ladies” to name just a few. Fiercely and wonderfully female in all that she writes she has blazed the way for the generation of young women who are lighting up the stages of the American theatre this decade. She has broken most theatrical taboos and lived to tell the tale and in so doing shone a light unlike any other on the human spirit and the world it inhabits. Not incidentally, she is as gifted a teacher in the classroom as on the stage. Tina Howe, mistress of her craft, is indeed a Master American Playwright.”

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

Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Richard Foreman, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Lanford Wilson, Wallace Shawn, Adrienne Kennedy, A. R. Gurney, Richard Nelson, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, David Henry Hwang, Christopher Durang, Larry Kramer and David Rabe.

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