Sheldon Bull to Receive Abingdon's Christopher Brian Wolk Award, 12/16

Abingdon Theatre Company, in an ongoing effort to recognize excellence in playwriting, established the Christopher Brian Wolk Award to be presented annually to an American writer of a full-length play not produced in New York City. The award is based upon the writer's demonstrated ability to reach a mature artistic vision using theatre. Playwright Sheldon Bull will receive the $1,000 cash award and a staged reading of his script MALLORCA, directed by Donald Brenner (GREAT EXPECTATIONS), at the award ceremony, December 16, starting at 7:00PM in the June Havoc Theatre, 312 West 36th Street in Manhattan.

MALLORCA was nominated along with five other scripts from nearly 400 play submissions submitted to Abingdon during its 2012-2013 season. A five-member selection committee, including actors, directors, playwrights, determined the winning script. Mr. Bull's script was chosen through a blind selection process through which the judges did not know the name or other identifying information about the playwrights of the nominated scripts.

The finalists for this year's award are Hal Borden for A POSITION OF RELATIVE IMPORTANCE; Sean Grennan for THE TIN WOMAN; Brian Mulholland for THE RETURN OF TARTUFFE; Mark Williams for RECOVERY; and Matt Witten for DRONES.

In MALLORCA, men and their emotions are explored in this two-act comedy about four middle-aged New Yorkers, all in the midst of personal crises, but only one willing to admit it. Plans to attend a Knicks game are sidetracked when neurotic Julius announces that he is moving to the island of Mallorca. Stan's wife may be leaving him, but he rushes to Mallorca when Julius threatens to kill himself. Leo and Arthur arrive, as does Roberta, the woman who may have pushed Julius over The Edge. Fear, frustration, and urination from a seaside balcony combine to bring about the resurrection of Julius, revelations about Leo's failing business, Arthur's failing health, and Stan's failing marriage, and ultimately to the redemption of the four men's

The cast of MALLORCA includes LJ Ganser, Warren Kelley, Anthony Newfield, Rory Scholl, and Dana Vance.

Abingdon Theatre Company, celebrating its 21st season, is led by Artistic Director Jan Buttram and Managing Director Heather Henderson. Abingdon is dedicated to developing and producing new plays by American Playwrights.

The prize is given annually since 2001 to full-length scripts submitted to Abingdon during its current season. The award is namedafter Christopher Brian Wolk, a talented and creative actor, musician, singer, writer and composer who died in an accident in National Glacier Park, Montana. To honor his memory, Abingdon Theatre Company and the Wolk family have created the award to celebrate excellence in playwriting. Christopher worked extensively with Abingdon including both the workshop and the main stage productions of ZONA, THE GHOST OF GREENBRIER.

Sheldon Bull has been a professional writer for over thirty years. He has written more than fifty scripts for a dozen prime-time television series, including "M*A*S*H." He has worked as a story editor or producer on more than three hundred television episodes. Sheldon has written and produced three hit television series, "Newhart," starring Bob Newhart, for which he received two Emmy nominations, "Coach," starring Craig T. Nelson, and "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch," starring Melissa Joan Hart, where he also directed several episodes. Bull started out in the theater, co-running and co-directing a small theater company in the Los Angeles area at the age of nineteen. He recently directed a production of Kaufman and Hart's YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU at The Sierra Madre Playhouse in California. He has been writing plays since 1995. Sheldon's plays have been given staged readings at The Falcon Theatre, Open Fist Theatre Company, and Three Roses Players in Los Angeles, and at Theater Arts West in Temecula, California. Most recently, he has joined the production staff for CBS' sitcom "Mom," starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney.

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