Chicago-based playwright and actor Scott McPherson has been named a recipient of a 1991 Whiting Writers’ Award for his second play, Marvin’s Room, a black comedy originally produced at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and currently running at New York’s Playwrights Horizons. The Whiting Foundation, now in its seventh year, annually awards $30,000 grants to each of 10 writers of exceptional talent. Candidates for the national award are proposed by nominators who are appointed by the foundation and serve anonymously; direct applications are not accepted.
Tony Kushner has received the 1991 Joseph Kesselring Prize for Playwrights, administered by the National Arts Club of New York, for Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. The epic, two-part play, sponsored for the $10,000 award by San Francisco’s Eureka Theatre Company, is scheduled for a full production at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles late in the year. Part one, Millennium Approaches, will be produced at the Royal National Theatre in London. The judges for the award were dramaturg Anne Cattaneo, playwright John Guare and critic John Lahr.
John Schneider, resident playwright of Milwaukee’s Theatre X, has received a $10,000 Milwaukee County Individual Artist Fellowship to be used for the development of new work. The fellowship program, now in its third year, is the largest cash award given to individual artists in Wisconsin. Schneider, the author of 24 plays, has been a member of the experimental ensemble since 1971.
David Hirson’s debut play, La Bete, has garnered the 1991 George Oppenheimer/New York Newsday Playwriting Award, know as the Oppy. The award, named after Newsday’s first drama critic, carries a $5,000 grant and is presented annually to an American playwright making his or her New York debut. La Bete, a 17th-century-style farce written entirely in rhymed couplets, played on Broadway last year and was published in the June 1991 issue of American Theatre. A special Oppy and prize for $3,000 was awarded to the Dramatists Guild for its Young Playwrights Festival.
The 1991 Saint Louis Literary Award and honorarium of $2,500 have been awarded to August Wilson, author most recently of Two Trains Running. There is no application process for the award, which is presented annually on the basis of artistic merit, but further information is available from the Associates of Saint Louis University Libraries, 40 North Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO 63108; (314) 361-1616.
Jane Anderson’s Lynette at 3 A.M. and Lanford Wilson’s Eukiah are the winners of the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 1991 National Ten-Minute Play Contest. Anderson and Wilson will receive the annual Heidman Award, named in honor of benefector Ted Heidman,and split a $1,000 prize. Both plays will be premiered next month as part of ATL’s 16th Humana Festival of New American Plays.