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History Matters/Back To The Future Announces Winners Of Inaugural Sallie Bingham Grant

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History Matters/Back to the Future has announced the recipients of its inaugural Sallie Bingham Grant, a monetary award granted to support a faculty-mentored student-directed reading series or full production of a play or plays by a historic female playwright. Four (4) $2,000 grants will be awarded, with an additional $500 stipend for the faculty advisor of each project.

The grant is to be applied towards a faculty mentored student-directed reading series or full production of a play or plays written by a female playwright prior to 1965. The grant is awarded by History Matters/Back to the Future, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes the study and production of women's plays of the past in colleges, universities, and theatres throughout the country and encourages responses to those plays from contemporary playwrights. The grant is named in honor of Sallie Bingham, a writer, teacher, feminist activist, and philanthropist who made a generous gift to History Matter/Back to the Future towards the furthering of the company's mission.

"In the years since I first learned about and began to support History Matters, I've seen this project grow and bloom, reaching new audiences, saving from oblivion important, inspiring-and forgotten-plays from the long and noble history of women playwrights," says Sallie Bingham.

This year's awardees are: Ksenia Volynkina from CUNY / Queensborough Community College with a production of Adrienne Kennedy's The Owl Answers in August 2018. Faculty advisor: Jodi Van Der Horn-Gibson. (This production will take place on August 24th and 25th at 7pm at the Shadowbox Theatre at CUNY Queensborough Community College). Ellen Everitt from University of Georgia with a production of Aphra Behn's The Emperor of the Moon in Spring 2019. Faculty advisor: Marla Carlson. Caroline Hill from Ohio State University with a reading series of plays by Georgia Douglas Johnson and Eulalie Spence, a contribution to the "I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100" Festival in Columbus, OH in October 2018. Faculty advisor: Jennifer Schlueter. Aviva Helena Neff from Ohio State University with a production of Georgia Douglas Johnson's A Sunday Morning in the South accompanied by readings of other plays by Johnson; a contribution to the "I, Too, Sing American: The Harlem Renaissance at 100" Festival in Columbus, OH. Faculty advisor: Jennifer Schlueter.

Applications were co-submitted by a student (preferably, the director of the proposed event) who is enrolled full-time at a university or college during the semester of his/her/their proposed production or reading series AND a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors, in co-submitting this application, agreed to oversee the allocation of grant monies as needed and act as a liaison between student creative teams and History Matters/Back to the Future.

"History Matters/Back to the Future makes clear that women have been an essential part of writing for the American Theatre since its inception and that they have wrestled with the most fundamental questions of our history and society and that they are often quite funny while doing it," says actor Kathleen Chalfant (The Affair, House of Cards).

Sallie Bingham is a writer, teacher, feminist activist, and philanthropist. Sallie's first novel was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1961. It was followed by four collections of short stories; her most recent, from Sarabande Books in 2014, is titled The Blue Box: Three Lives In Letters. She has also published six additional novels, three collections of poetry, numerous plays (produced off-Broadway and regionally), and the well-known family memoir, Passion and Prejudice (Knopf, 1989). Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, New Letters, Plainswoman, Plainsong, Greensboro Review, Negative Capability, The Connecticut Review, and Southwest Review, among others, and have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Forty Best Stories from Mademoiselle, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and The Harvard Advocate Centennial Anthology. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Sallie has worked as a book editor for The Courier-Journal in Louisville and has been a director of the National Book Critics Circle. She is founder of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, which published The American Voice, and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture at Duke University. She was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE is a national nonprofit organization that promotes the study and production of women's plays of the past (defined to include all plays by women-identifying playwrights prior to 1965) in colleges, universities, and theatres throughout the country and encourages responses to those plays from contemporary playwrights. Programming includes the One Play At A Time Initiative, the $2,500 Annual Judith Barlow Prize for a one-act student play inspired by a historic woman-identified playwright, and now, The Sallie Bingham Grant to fund student-directed productions and readings of historic women's plays. Find more information about these programs and a library of historic plays by women-identified playwrights and curated acting scenes on our website. For more information about visit us at historymattersbacktothefuture.com.


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