2017 Yale Drama Series Prize Winner Jacqueline Goldfinger's BOTTLE FLY Gets Reading in London
One of the theater world's most prestigious playwriting prizes, the Yale Drama Series Prize, will be given to Jacqueline Goldfinger for her play Bottle Fly. The 2017 award recipient was chosen by playwright Nicholas Wright. This year's ceremony will be held in London, with the play receiving a staged reading in November at the National Theatre Studio.
Now celebrating its eleventh year, the Yale Drama Series is the preeminent playwriting award in cooperation with Yale University Press, and is solely sponsored by the David Charles Horn Foundation. The Yale Drama Series Prize is given out annually for a play by an emerging playwright, selected by a judging panel of one--a distinguished playwright of our time. The winner receives the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, as well as publication of the winning play by Yale University Press and a staged professional reading. The Yale Drama Series is an annual international open submission competition for emerging playwrights who are invited to submit original, unpublished, full-length, English language plays for consideration. All entries are read blindly.
This year's runners-up are Andrew Rosendorf for Cottontail and Carla Grauls for Natives.
"Set in a bar in the Everglades, Jacqueline Goldfinger's Bottle Fly brings together a rich variety of American classes, cultures, heritages and desires," said judge Nicholas Wright, who chose Bottle Fly from over 1,000 submissions from 45 countries. "Its voice is passionate and straight-from-the-heart; the world it shows us is earthy, cruel and hilarious; the story at its core is one of profound and reckless love.
Francine Horn, president of the David Charles Horn Foundation, said, "Spending my winters now in Florida not far from the Everglades it was surprising that we would have a winner and a runner-up, Bottle Fly and Cottontail, both writing on its dying cultures, bleakness and the need to escape this wilderness."
Jacqueline Goldfinger, winner of this year's prize said, "Bottle Fly was the first full play that I wrote after having children. It was only possible because Yaddo and the Sustainable Arts Foundation blessed me with (baby free) time to spin a story from family lore. I found myself reflecting on the stories that I'd been told growing up, and those I would choose to tell my children. I was also inspired by Octavio Solis' family drama, Lydia, as well as by the disappearing Everglades culture which is being overrun by asphalt highways, spendthrift retirees, and other forms of 'progress.' Thanks to the Horn Foundation and Yale Drama Series, Bottle Fly will have the opportunity to be read, seen and shared around the world. I could not be more grateful."
Bottle Fly is a multi-generational family drama about the masks we wear at home with our family, those we wear out in the world, and the struggle between them. It's a dinged up, stripped down homage to Mr. Wittgenstein and his poor fly.
The David Charles Horn Foundation was established in 2003 by Francine Horn, David's wife and partner in the international fashion publication service Here & There. David was a man of vision and discipline with an overriding dedication to the written word. His dream of having his own writing published was never realized. The Foundation seeks to honor David's aspirations by offering other writers the opportunity of publication. More particularly, the Foundation supports emerging playwrights, perhaps in greater need of assistance today than beginning writers in any other of the literary arts. The Foundation provides all funding for the Yale Drama Series.
Jacqueline Goldfinger's play The Arsonists is having a National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premiere in 2017-18. It will begin May 3 at Azuka Theatre, then continue on to Perseverance Theatre, Know Theatre, and Capital Stage. Her work has been supported by PlayPenn, Yaddo, The Lark, The Independence Foundation, The Producer's Fund, Disquiet Literary Conference, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. She's won a Barrymore Award, a Philadelphia Critics Award, and a Brown Martin Award.
British playwright Nicholas Wright served as judge for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Yale Drama Series Award. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, he was a child actor who studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He has written over 30 plays, libretti, and screenplays, including Vincent in Brixton, Mrs. Klein, and Traveling Light, which have been performed all over the world from London's Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Royal Court, to Broadway by New York's Lincoln Center Theater. His Latest Play, Slaves of Solitude will open this October at The Hampstead Theatre.
Previous winners of the Yale Drama Series Prize include John Austin Connolly's The Boys From Siam (selected by Edward Albee in 2007), Neil Wechsler's Grenadine (selected by Edward Albee in 2008), Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's Lidless (selected by David Hare in 2009), Virginia Grise's blu (selected by David Hare in 2010), Shannon Murdoch's New Light Shine(selected by John Guare in 2011), Clarence Coo's Beautiful Province (selected by John Guare in 2012), Jen Silverman's Still (selected by Marsha Norman in 2013), Janine Nabers'sSerial Black Face (selected by Marsha Norman in 2014), Barbara Seyda's Celia, a Slave: 26 Characters Testify (selected by Nicholas Wright in 2015), and Emily Schwend's Utility(selected by Nicholas Wright in 2016).
For additional information about the Yale Drama Series, visit www.dchornfoundation.org.