Whitney Hale


Kia Corthron to Judge Next Prize for Women Playwrights

Published: May 22, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2012) — The Kentucky Women Writers Conference (KWWC) is welcoming American playwright, television writer and activist Kia Corthron to judge the second Prize for Women Playwrights contest.


KWWC’s Prize for Women Playwrights is a biennial prize that selects a winner in odd years and mounts a production of the winning script in even years. This year's prize winner will be selected by internationally renowned playwright Kia Corthron. The prize carries a $500 cash award and a fully staged theatrical production at Balagula Theatre in Lexington, where it will be produced as a world premiere in early 2014.


Joining Corthron on the judging panel are Balagula Theatre co-artistic directors Ryan Case and Natasha Williams, Lexington Herald-Leader theater critic Candace Chaney, Peabody Award-winning screenwriter and playwright and University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Playwriting Herman Farrell III, and KWWC director Julie Wrinn.


Five finalists will be chosen by the panel, and Corthron will select the final winner. Only scripts postmarked by Nov. 1, 2012 will be accepted for entry. A winner of this playwriting award will be announced in March 2013.


In the prize’s first year, 2011, judge, playwright and Kentucky native, Naomi Wallace chose Keliher Walsh’s "The Year of the Rabbit," which premiered at Balagula Theatre in March–April 2012 to rave reviews.


Corthron's plays include "Breath," "Boom," "A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick," "Trickle," "Light Raise the Roof" and "The Venus de Milo Is Armed." She has written TV episodes for "The Jury" and "The Wire," garnering Writers Guild and Edgar Allan Poe awards for the latter. Most recently she has written a novel, "The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter."


Corthron's plays have been produced at Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, New York Theatre Workshop, Royal Court Theatre (London), Yale Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Children's Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Atlantic Theater Company, Donmar Warehouse (London), Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club and others. Her playwriting awards include a McKnight Fellowship, AT&T On Stage Award, Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, National Endowment for the Arts. Corthron has developed work through the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Residency (Italy), Dora Maar House (France), Siena Art Institute (Italy), MacDowell Colony, McKnight National Residency, Hermitage Artists Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, and elsewhere.


The KWWC is an annual event known for bringing notable women writers to Lexington for readings, writing workshops and discussions. The conference will run Sept. 21-22, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and several additional evening venues. Online registration for the conference is now open but is not a requirement for entering its contests.


The KWWC staff is also currently accepting entries for their annual Betty Gabehart Prize, to be judged by its Board of Advisors. Three prizes will be awarded as part of the contest in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Each winner will receive $200, two 2-day passes to the conference, and the opportunity to read her winning manuscript at this year’s conference on Friday or Saturday, Sept. 21 or 22. Manuscripts must be postmarked by July 1. Winners will be notified and announced on the KWWC website by Aug. 12.


For contest guidelines and details on the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, visit www.kentuckywomenwriters.org or call (859) 257-2874.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu


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