Lucy Kirkwood Wins Berwin Lee Playwrights Award
At a ceremony which took place last night (Monday 4 November 2013), playwright Lucy Kirkwood became the first UK recipient of the Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc. Award.
Earlier this year, Dorothy Berwin, Mark Lee and Tom Kirdahy announced the inaugural winners of the first annual Berwin Lee Playwrights Award - an award created to foster and promote the craft of playwriting in both the United Kingdom and the United States and to encourage the writing and production of plays. The 2013 winners Lucy Kirkwood (UK) and Bathsheba Doran (US) have each now received a $25,000 award. They were chosen unanimously by the three award trustees based in part on recommendations from the Artistic Directors of The Royal Court Theatre in London and the Lincoln Center Theatre in New York. Each recipient received the award in the form of a commission, with no specific time frame attached so they have the freedom to write without restriction.
Lucy Kirkwood said: "I am delighted and honoured to be the first British beneficiary of the Berwin Lee Theatre Foundation. As a commission it signifies a wonderfully free creative space to work in, for which I am very grateful, and hands stretching across the Atlantic between two great cities of theatre, by which I am very excited."
Trustees Dorothy Berwin, Mark Lee and Tom Kirdahy said: "We have always been passionate and active theatergoers for as long as we can remember. We wanted to give back to the theatre community and since everything starts with the writer, we felt we could be most effective by awarding grants to talented playwrights to help foster and develop new plays. Since we believe that London and New York are the theatre capitals of the world, we decided to create an award that celebrates playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic." "Whilst here in London, we were thrilled to have presented Lucy Kirkwood with our award and very much look forward to working with her, and Bathsheba Doran in New York, on their forthcoming commissions."
In 2005 Lucy Kirkwood wrote and starred in her first play, Grady Hot Potato, at the Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland. The play was also selected for the National Student Drama Festival. The following year she took two productions of her second play, Geronimo to the Edinburgh Fringe, under the title The Umbilical Project. Her third playGuns or Butter, about soldiers being overcome by the horror of war, was written for the Terror 2007 Festival at the Union Theatre in London. Tinderbox, a dark comedy set in a fictional 21st Century England, premiered at the Bush Theatre in 2008. In the same year she also contributed to the Bush's 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. Her version of Ibsen'sHedda Gabler, entitled Hedda, premiered at London's Gate Theatre in 2008. Kirkwood's promenade play about sex trafficking, It Felt Empty When The Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now, was produced by Clean Break Theatre at the Arcola theatre. Her short horror piece Psychogeography premiered at the Bush in 2008 and was revived at Southwark Playhouse. Her play NSFW premiered at The Royal Court Theatre in October 2012 and last month Kirkwood's critically acclaimed Chimerica completed a West End run at the Harold Pinter Theatre, following its world premiere at the Almeida in May.