Lynn Nottage

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

Lynn Nottage is the Pulitzer prize winning author of Ruined. Her inspiring array of work speaks to the strength of the human spirit within all of us. As with Ruined, Ms. Nottage often draws upon extensive interviews and research as part of her writing process, which results in plays that detail authentic anguish and actualized hope. Her work includes Intimate Apparel, which received American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics Awards, the Obie Award winning Fabulation, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, as well as Crumbs from the Table of Joy and Las Meninas. Ms. Nottage’s play Sweat recently premiered to great acclaim. She has received a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the inaugural Horton Foote Award, and the National Black Theatre Fest’s August Wilson Playwrighting Award. In 2004 Ms. Nottage was awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career, but since that time her influence in the American Theatre has widened and deepened and her awe-inspiring body of work demonstrates that she is truly a Master American Dramatist.”

2016 Judges 

Annie Baker‘s full-length plays include John, The Flick, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens, Body Awareness, and an adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, for which she also designed the costumes. Her plays have been produced at over 150 theaters throughout the U.S., and have been produced internationally in over a dozen countries. Recent honors include a Pulitzer Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Obie Award for Best New American Play, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, Hull-Warriner Award, Steinberg Award, and the Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library.

Kirsten Greenidge is a Village Voice/Obie Award winner and a recent PEN/Laura Pels Award recipient. She is the author of Luck of the Irish, Splendor, Bossa Nova, Rust, and many more. She has developed her work at Sundance, National New Play Network, The O’Neill, and New Dramatists, among many others. She is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, a recipient of an NEA/TCG residency at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and was playwright in residence at Company One Theatre. Her play Milk Like Sugar will be performed at the Huntington in January 2016.

Tracy Letts is the author of the plays Superior Donuts, August: Osage County, Killer Joe, Bug, Man From Nebraska (Pulitzer Prize finalist) and an adaptation of Chekov’s Three Sisters. He is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. His appearances there include: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Tony Award) Homebody/Kabul, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Letts was the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his play August: Osage County. The feature film version, which he also adapted, was produced by the Weinstein Company and starred Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. The film received two Academy Award Nominations.

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, David Rabe, and Tina Howe

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