Dramatists Guild Foundation has announced the recipients of its annual awards, which honor playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists who show promise in their writing.
Brittany K. Allen is the winner of the Georgia Engel Comedy Playwriting Prize, the Thom Thomas Award winner is Avi Amon, and Emily Gardner Xu Hall has been honored with the Stephen Schwartz Award. All three awards come with a $10,000 prize.
Paulo K Tiról has also been named the recipient of the first-ever Benjamin Indick Award, which features a $1,000 prize.
The Georgia Engel Comedy Playwriting Prize is given annually to a female-identifying playwright honoring that artist's work in comedy. Brooklyn-based writer and actor Allen is a member of Ensemble Studio’s Theatre’s Obie-winning Youngblood collective, an alum of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, and a 2017 Van Lier New Voices fellow at the Lark. Her play Redwood (2017 and 2020 Kilroys List) received its world premiere at Portland Center Stage in 2019 and will appear in upcoming seasons at the Jungle Theater and Ensemble Studio Theatre.
The Thom Thomas Award is given to a former DGF Fellow and commemorates playwright Thomas’ passion for nurturing the next generation of dramatists and his appreciation of DGF’s support of writers. Turkish-American composer, sound artist, and educator Amon is a Jonathan Larson Grant recipient and has been an artist-in-residence with Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, The O’Neill, Goodspeed, Yale, New Dramatists, and more. His credits include Cupids with Zoey Martinson, Mlima's Tale, The Copper Children, Stew, The Fisherman, The Black History Museum, and Salonika. Amon is the resident composer at the 52nd Street Project and teaches at NYU Tisch.
The Stephen Schwartz Award is given annually to a musical theatre writer whose voice is seen as critical to the continued success of the craft. Composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor Gardner Xu Hall won the 2019 American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Award and was the inaugural winner of the 2018 “Go Write a Musical” Lilly Award for Women in Theatre. Among Gardner Xu Hall's numerous credits are Untitled Cherry Orchard Musical, Cymbeline, Mei-Do, Nascent Phase, Nomad Motel with Carla Ching, and Ruth. She is currently developing Untitled Chongqing Musical with Tom Donaghy and working on a film project with Tony and Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The Benjamin Indick Award honors a mid-career lyricist, librettist, or book writer for musical theatre in honor of the late science fiction writer. Composer, lyricist, and bookwriter Tiról has been a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow and an artist-in-residence at Access Theater. His projects include music and lyrics for On This Side of the World, book, music, and lyrics for Called and Love Songs, and orchestrations for Ma-Yi Theater Co.’s Felix Starro.
“I’m crying because I’ve been thinking about how hard it has been, in the pandemic, to keep writing and how hard it’s been for everyone dealing with every circumstance,” recipient Gardner Xu Hall said. “I am so, so grateful, and I feel so, so lucky.”
Dramatists Guild Foundation is a national charity that fuels the future of American theatre by supporting the writers who create it.