Christina Anderson—a 2022 Tony nominee for Best Book of a Musical, along with Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan, for Paradise Square—has been named the winner of the 2002 Horton Foote Prize for her play the ripple, the wave that carried me home, described as a "moving exploration of a family’s response to injustice and a daughter’s reckoning with her political inheritance."
Anderson will be honored at a private celebration October 24 at New York’s Lotos Club, where she will be presented with $50,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights and Anderson's former teachers and mentors, Paula Vogel and Lynn Nottage, will present her with the prize.
Anderson's winning work was commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and was co-nominated by Berkeley Rep and The Goodman Theatre. Its world-premiere production, directed by Jackson Gay, is currently playing Berkeley Rep through October 16, to be followed by a run at the Goodman beginning January 15, 2023.
Awarded since 2010, the biennial Horton Foote Prize recognizes excellence in American theatre, and is named in honor of the late Pulitzer-winning playwright. Previous recipients include Lynn Nottage for Ruined, Will Eno for Middletown, David Lindsay-Abaire for Good People, Naomi Wallace for The Liquid Plain, Dan O’Brien for The Body of an American, Suzan-Lori Parks for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3), Jordan Harrison for Marjorie Prime, Zayd Dohrn for The Profane, Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, Jaclyn Backhaus for India Pale Ale, and Lloyd Suh for The Chinese Lady.
This year the artistic judges panel included actor and playwright (and honorary chair) Sharon Washington, New York Stage and Film artistic director Christopher Burney, scenic designer Wilson Chin, and freelance director and theatre consultant Seema Sueko.
Washington said in a statement, “I was immediately struck by the poetry of Christina’s play. ‘I inherited the weight of water. The heaviness, the consequence of it—not the joy.’ What do you do with dreams that are not your own? What is your responsibility? To the community? To yourself? Her words flow over and through you, carrying us on a beautifully sensory experience that lingers long after the last word is spoken. Completely compelling. Bravo!”
The upcoming ceremony will also include the presentation of the inaugural Horton Foote Prize Gratitude Gift, awarded to a non-profit organization that endeavors to have a positive impact through theatre, as chosen by the honorary chair. This year’s $10,000 gift, at the direction of Washington, will be awarded to Theatre Gap Initiative, a nonprofit college-prep program under the direction of Tony-winning theatre educator Corey Mitchell. With a focus on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as well as students from economically challenged backgrounds, TGI offers its students training in acting, dance, and voice as well as guidance through applying to college professional training programs.
The Horton Foote Prize is founded and funded by the Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation of Austin, Texas.