Paula Vogel, Greg Pierce et al. Set for Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award Luncheon with Linda Lavin 6/21

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Best Actress Tony nominee Linda Lavin will be joined by an array of notable playwrights, directors and actors -- Vineyard Theatre artists all -- when she hosts The Vineyard's 5th annual luncheon presentation of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award to emerging playwright Erika Sheffer (RUSSIAN TRANSPORT), today, June 21 (12 p.m. – 2 p.m.) at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South) in Manhattan.

Along with Ms. Lavin -- a 2012 Best Actress Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner for Nicky Silver's comedy THE LYONS, which had its world-premiere at The Vineyard last fall -- luncheon attendees will include the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel along with playwrights Greg Pierce (THE LANDING) and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (NEIGHBORS), actors Judy Kuhn (ELI'S COMIN'), Colman Domingo and Sharon Washington (both of THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS) and Li Jun Li and Matt Dellapina (both of OUTSIDE PEOPLE), joined by directors Terry Kinney (AFTER ASHLEY) and Anne Kauffman (GOD'S EAR). Also attending will be Vineyard Theatre Artistic Director Douglas Aibel, Co-Artistic Director Sarah Stern, Executive Producer Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell and Managing Director Rebecca Habel.

Tickets ($250) are available to mingle and dine with Vineyard artists in the intimate and beautiful setting of the National Arts Club by contacting Veronica Bainbridge at 212 353 3366 ext. 242 or via email at vbainbridge@vineyardtheatre.org.

Named in honor of playwright and teacher Paula Vogel -- whose plays THE LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME and HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (Pulitzer Prize for Drama) debuted at the Vineyard -- the Paula Vogel Award is presented annually by The Vineyard to an emerging playwright of exceptional promise. The residency-based award comes with a cash prize and artistic development support over the 2012-13 season.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefit The Vineyard's artistic and education programs. The Paula Vogel Playwriting Award is made possible through the generosity of the Tournesol Project.

Erika Sheffer's first play, RUSSIAN TRANSPORT received its world premiere at The New Group in January 2012, directed by Scott Elliott. The play was nominated for the John Gassner Award by the Outer Critics Circle, which is presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright. Her work has been read at Naked Angels, Primary Stages, The Woodshed Collective and Personal Space Theatrics. She has performed original pieces at Upright Citizens Brigade and Dixon Place. Ms. Sheffer received a fellowship from SPACE on Ryder Farm to develop her newest play and is an alum of The Movement Theater Company's New Works/Moving Up Writers Group. Selected acting credits include RED LIGHT WINTER directed by Adam Rapp, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, directed by Mark Lamos, as well as several productions for The Folger and The American Shakespeare Center. Ms. Sheffer holds a B.F.A. in Drama from Syracuse University.

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