Playwright Clarence Coo will be presented with the Yale Drama Series Award this Tuesday, September 18 at Lincoln Center Theater's Claire Tow Theater.
Mr. Coo will be presented with the $10,000 David Charles Horn Prize for his play Beautiful Province, which was chosen by playwright John Guare from over 1100 plays submitted from 24 countries. Mr. Guare and Francine Horn, founder of the David Charles Horn Foundation, will make the presentation which will be immediately followed by a reading of Beautiful Province, directed by Cosmin Chivu, on the stage of the newly opened Claire Tow Theater. In addition to the cash award and reading, Coo will also have his play published by the Yale University Press. Runners-up for the 2012 Yale Drama Series were Saviana Stanescu, for her play Useless, and Jesse Weaver, for his play We Shall Catch Larks.
Francine Horn is also pleased to announce that the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman has agreed to succeed John Guare as the judge of the Series. She joins a distinguished group of playwrights which, in addition to John Guare, include David Hare and Edward Albee, all of whom have served as the Series' sole playwright judge, each for a two year-period. Ms. Norman will choose the 2013 winner, which will be announced this spring.
"We are truly happy to welcome Marsha Norman on board as the judge of next year's competition," said Ms. Horn. "Foundations are not built alone, they are based on partnerships. How fortunate are we to have had the Yale Press as a partner. We were even more fortunate to have as our first playwright-judge Edward Albee. His endorsement made it easier to approach our second judge David Hare, who opened doors for us on both sides of the Atlantic. And I can't thank our third John Guare enough for his commitment, not to only find the best of the best, last year from over 1100 submissions, but also for introducing us to the most gracious host imaginable - Lincoln Center Theater. "
"I am thrilled and honored to follow in the footsteps of my friend, John Guare, in judging the Yale Prize," commented Ms. Norman. " I am eager to listen to a whole New Group of writers, and am mightily impressed by the fact that over 1,000 plays have been received. I'm looking forward to meeting the Board and helping to locate the winner of this prestigious prize."
Marsha Norman won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, Blackburn Prize, Hull-Warriner and Drama Desk Award for her play 'Night, Mother, won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her book for the musical The Secret Garden and wrote the book for the musical The Color Purple, for which she received a Tony nomination. Her other plays include Getting Out, Third and Oak and The Laundromat. She won a Peabody Award for her writing for the HBO series In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Weist. She is co-chair, with Christopher Durang, of the Playwrighting Department of the Juilliard School.
Beautiful Province is the story of a road trip across Canada taken by a fifteen year old boy and his French high school teacher. Clarence Coo developed his winning play at the Inkwell's Inkubator Series and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His other work has been produced or developed at the New York International Fringe Festival, Mu Performing Arts, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Round House Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, the Young Playwrights Festival, and the Kennedy Center. He was an Allen Lee Hughes Fellow at Arena Stage, a recipient of the Larry Neal Writers' Award, and a social media writer for the 2010 and 2011 Tony Awards. He received his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University where he studied under Charles Mee, and is currently the program administrator of the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia's School of the Arts.