Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 New Awards Presented at IT Ceremony

This year at our awards ceremony we introduced 3 new awards.

The Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award

This award was named in honor of a true Off-Off-Broadway pioneer and a dear friend. Doric Wilson was a radical, pioneering, innovative, and unflinching playwright and New York theater artist. He was one of the original playwrights of the Caffe Cino, the author of many extraordinary plays, and the creator and artistic director of TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence). The success of his plays at Caffe Cino helped, in the words of playwright Robert Patrick, to "establish the Cino as a venue for new plays, and materially contributed to the then-emerging concept of Off-Off-Broadway." His Now She Dances!, a fantasia on the trial of Oscar Wilde, was the first Off-Off-Broadway play to deal positively with gay people. Under the mentorship of producer Richard Barr, Wilson became a pioneer of the alternative theatre movement, dedicating his career to writing, directing, producing, and/or designing hundreds of productions. Through his work with TOSOS, and because of his unwavering love and belief in playwrights and the theater, he was a mentor and friend to many young writers and helped foster the future of their plays.

The award named in Doric’s honor will be given to a playwright whose writing and work ethic honors the innovation, uncompromising vision, heart, and spirit that was Doric Wilson and his work. Writers working in the five boroughs of New York City who have not received an Off-Broadway, Broadway, or prominent regional theater production are all eligible.

The 2012 Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award Committee includes: Jennifer Conley Darling, Mark Finley, Julie Kline, Daniel Talbott and Kathleen Warnock.

The inaugural recipient of this award is Donnetta Lavinia Grays a playwright that Doric knew well; someone who Doric supported and mentored. She is a writer of singular vision, and unparalleled ability.

Congratulations Donnetta!

Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play

Just after last Thanksgiving, we asked you, the community at large, to discuss a series of questions we’d been facing, to get your feedback, and give you the opportunity to share your ideas.

We asked about our rules and requirements such as ticket prices and budget caps (all good reads), but the topic that got the most traction by far was the discussion about award categories.  Specifically many members of the community championed the idea of there being a category for revivals. It wasn’t a completely cut-and-dried issue:  there were many voices, backing the many angles of the topic, and there were aspects to adding such a category that are complicated to be sure.  But ultimately, it was clear that the community wanted the new award and perhaps most importantly it gave us the opportunity to recognize more artists and more outstanding work.

So, in direct response to your input, we created 2 awards; Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play. These two awards replace “Outstanding Production of a Play.”

The Revival category includes classics, established plays, or the production of any script that has previously received a full production (this excludes workshops or readings).

The Premiere category includes plays that are, as the title indicates, receiving their premiere production.

This season Ajax in Iraq produced by Flux Theatre Ensemble received the Revival award and Advance Man produced by Gideon Productions received the award for Premiere Production. Both are worthy recipients and we are happy that we are able to recognize both of these outstanding productions and exceptional companies.

Congratulations to both.

And congratulations to all of the nominees this year. There is so much inspirational, engaging and innovative work happening in our community - we could not be more proud.

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