Vineyard Theatre to Honor Christopher Chen with 2013-14 Paula Vogel Award, 10/3
Christopher Chen -- a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT and other plays - is the 2013 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, presented annually by Vineyard Theatre to an emerging playwright of exceptional promise, it has been announced by Douglas Aibel, Vineyard Theatre's Artistic Director and Sarah Stern, Co-Artistic Director.
Mr. Chen is the sixth recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, named in honor of playwright and teacher Paula Vogel, whose plays HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (Pulitzer Prize for Drama) and THE LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME premiered at The Vineyard. The residency-based award comes with a cash prize and artistic development support over the 2013-14 season.
The award will be presented on October 3rd at a luncheon at the National Arts Club, hosted by Kathleen Chalfant and Kate Mulgrew, stars of the Vineyard's recent production of Jenny Schwartz' SOMEWHERE FUN. Ms. Vogel will also be on hand to help present the award.
The Paula Vogel Playwriting Award is made possible through the generosity of the Tournesol Project.
Mr. Chen's THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT -- a kaleidoscopic play-within-a-play about Mao Tse-Tung and social media -- was presented last year by San Francisco's Crowded Fire, receiving the Will Glickman Award and Rella Lossy Playwrights Award, and was short-listed for the James Tait Black Award. Mr. Chen's other plays include INTO THE NUMBERS, THE WINDOW AGE and AULIS: AN ACT OF NIHILISM IN ONE LONG ACT. His work has been produced and developed by American Conservatory Theatre, Central Works Theatre Ensemble, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Beijing Fringe Festival, The Lark Play Development Center, hotINK Festival, Theatre Mu, Silk Road Theatre Project, Fluid Motion, and Asian American Theater Company. Mr. Chen is a Resident Playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, a member of the Magic Theatre Artist's Lab and Just Theater New Play Lab, and is co-director of the Asian American Theater Company New Works Incubator Program. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from S.F. State.
When the Paula Vogel Award was established, Ms. Vogel said, "They say a person is judged by the company he or she keeps, and I am so honored by my association with the Vineyard Theatre -- they are a company I always want to keep. I am doubly honored: honored by having the award in my name from The Vineyard, and honored to be blessing a new generation of rising playwrights. The Vineyard fulfills the promise of its name: in planting the seeds of new plays, we as audiences reap the harvest."
Paula Vogel's long and cherished relationship with the Vineyard began with the theatre's acclaimed production of HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, directed by Mark Brokaw; the play won the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Play, and was recently revived with its original cast at a one-night-only reading presented as part of The Vineyard's recently-concluded 30th anniversary season. Ms. Vogel's play THE LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME, also directed by Mark Brokaw, premiered at The Vineyard in 2001. Her other plays include THE BALTIMORE WALTZ, THE MINEOLA TWINS, THE OLDEST PROFESSION, HOT N THROBBING and A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS.