Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, on behalf of the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, has announced the five finalist plays and musical for the 2014 award:
Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, produced by the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays.
Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau, produced by the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the National Black Theatre (NBT), and the Public Theater in New York, NY.
Fun Home, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, produced by the Public Theater in New York, NY.
Party People by Universes, produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.
the road weeps, the well runs dry by Marcus Gardley, produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles, CA.
The Edward M. Kennedy Prize is given annually to a new play or musical of merit that, in the words of the prize’s mission statement, "…enlists theater's power to explore the past of the United States, to participate meaningfully in the great issues of our day through the public conversation, grounded in historical understanding, that is essential to the functioning of a democracy."
The Prize Board of Governors includes Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of American History and Provost Emeritus, Columbia University; Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; Andrew Delbanco, Mendelson Family Professor of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University; Mandy Hackett, Associate Director, The Public Theater, New York, NY; Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright; James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University; Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient; Amanda Smith, author.
Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith created the prize to honor the life and legacy of her late brother, Senator Ted Kennedy. Finalists were selected through nominations from a group of 20 theater professionals around the country. The jury will meet at Columbia in early February 2014. The Prize will be announced on February 22, 2014, the anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s birth. The winning play will receive an award of $100,000, and will be honored in a ceremony at Columbia later this spring.
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