Matthew Paul Olmos Receives Arizona Theatre Company's National Latino Playwriting Award
Matthew Paul Olmos's the living'life of the daughter mira has been named the winner of Arizona Theatre Company's 2015 National Latino Playwriting Award (NLPA), and the recipient of the $1000 prize. 2015 marks the 20th year of the competition.
The National Latino Playwriting Award was established by Arizona Theatre Company Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein and Playwright-in-Residence Elaine Romero to create a greater awareness of the work being done by Latino and Latina playwrights across the nation.
Olmos's the living'life of the daughter mira weaves across time and generations as the premature baby Mira looks to her Labor and Delivery nurse as a mother figure, while she struggles to survive her first challenging weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit. Meanwhile, Mira's teenaged mother and uncompromising family clash as Mira's father struggles to keep a promise, made to his unborn daughter on a mysterious beach, in an aging blue Chevy Cassanova van.
"Our judges were struck by the rich language and impressed by the original world carved out in Matthew Paul Olmos's new work, the living'life of the daughter mira," Romero said. "They particularly admired the plasticity of time and space in the piece, and how the play continually tracked the unexpected. The play does all this while remaining rooted in the trueness of its characters. We wholeheartedly believe that Matthew Paul Olmos is a playwright to watch, and it is our honor to acknowledge him."
Olmos is a three-time recipient of the Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency, a New Dramatists Resident Playwright, a 2015 Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist, an Awardee of the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, and the inaugural recipient of La Mama e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Award (selected by Sam Shepard), among many other awards and accolades. His work has been produced in theatres across the country, and he is currently at work on the drinking of an un'happy people about American nationalism, and the third play in a three-play cycle so go the ghosts of mexico, which focuses on the U.S./Mexico drug wars. Mr. Olmos was also the co-founder and former Artistic Director of woken'glacier theatre company and is a member of NoPassport with Caridad Svich, a reader for the NEA's New Play Development, and a regular essayist for The Brooklyn Rail's "In Dialogue" series and the New York Theatre Review.
The runner-up for the 2015 National Latino Playwriting Award is Martín Zimmerman's The Solid Sand Below, in which Julian Flores narrowly escapes a prison sentence to land in Iraq, where he's anything but a model soldier. But when an I.E.D. blast nearly costs him his
life, something changes for Flores. Soon the adrenaline, clarity, and intimacy of battle become something he can't live without-even after he returns home.
"Martín Zimmerman bravely tackles the ongoing reverberations of having served in war in his brave piece, The Solid Sand Below," says Romero. "Once the war stops on the outside, Zimmerman's beautifully crafted protagonist, Julian Flores, continues to wage a personal war on the inside long after the war's perpetrators have gone."
Zimmerman's work has been produced or developed at The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens Theater, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights' Center, Allliance Theatre, PlayPenn, Chicago Dramatists, Teatro Vista, Borderlands Theater, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, among many others. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Terrence McNally New Play Award, Humanitas Prize New Voices Award, Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, McKnight Advancement Grant, Jerome Fellowship, Carl Djerassi Playwriting Fellowship, National New Play Network's Smith Prize, and a Core Apprenticeship at The Playwrights' Center. Mr. Zimmerman was also a member of the 2011-2012 Playwrights' Unit at Goodman Theatre, is a Playwright-in-Residence at Teatro Vista, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and has been a finalist for the Kendeda Competition, Heideman Award, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
Previous winners of the National Latino Playwriting Award have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and featured at the Humana Festival and regional theaters across the country. Recent winner The River Bride by Marisela Treviño Orta was recently announced for its world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival next season. Edwin Sànchez's La Bella Familia, Michael Mejias's Ghetto Babylon, and Kristiana Colón's Octagon were given staged readings in ATC's Café Bohemia new play reading series as part of the award. Other past recipients of the NLPA include Kristoffer Diaz, Caridad Svich, Carlos Murillo, Luis Alfaro, Octavio Solis, Raul Garza and Karen Zacarías. Felix Pire's winning play The Origins of Happiness in Latin was produced by ATC.
The 2015 National Latino Playwriting Award is supported by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment of the Arts as part of ATC's company-wide Voices of A New America initiative.
Submissions for the 2016 National Latino Playwriting Award are now open. Latino and Latina playwrights residing in the United States, its territories or Mexico are encouraged to submit scripts for the award. Each script will be read and evaluated by a culturally diverse panel of theatre artists; finalists will be judged by ATC artistic staff.
We respectfully ask that you adhere to the following application requirements:
• Submit a single script via U.S. mail and email. Scripts must be postmarked by December 31, 2015.
• Please include a title page on the script which includes the play's title, the author's name, and contact information (including a phone number, mailing address and email).
• Include a cover letter of no more than one page, describing the play's developmental history, and how the play fits into the playwright's broader career trajectory.
• Submit manuscripts to:
National Latino Playwriting Award
ATTN: Katherine Monberg, Literary Associate
Arizona Theatre Company
343 S. Scott Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701
• The award is open to all Latino and Latina playwrights currently residing in the United States, its territories, or Mexico.
• Scripts may be in English, English and Spanish, or solely in Spanish. (Spanish-language and bilingual scripts must be accompanied by an English translation.)
• Plays must be unpublished and professionally unproduced at the time of submission.
• Full-length and one-act plays (minimum length: 50 pages) on any subject will be accepted.
• The physical scripts become the property of Arizona Theatre Company and will not be returned. In this case, "property" means the physical property of the theatre, not the intellectual property or any rights to the play.
The winner will be notified by August 1, 2016.
For more information contact Katherine Monberg, ATC Literary Associate (520) 884-8210 x 7508 or firstname.lastname@example.org