Sanaz Toossi, Jeanine Tesori, Alice Childress and More To Receive Dramatists Guild Awards

Awards include the Horton Foote Award, the Frederick Loewe Award, the DLDF Defender Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards and more.

By: Jul. 19, 2022
Sanaz Toossi, Jeanine Tesori, Alice Childress and More To Receive Dramatists Guild Awards

The Dramatists Guild of America has announced further recipients for their 2022 Awards. The Awards for both 2021 and 2022 recipients will be presented at Joe's Pub on Monday, July 25, 2022.

"The Guild is excited to honor such a brilliant and diverse group of dramatists - from new and necessary voices to writers who have been leading the way for many years, the slate of award recipients this year is one to celebrate," shared Amanda Green, president of the Dramatists Guild.

The Horton Foote Award, sponsored by the Richenthal Foundation, is presented to a dramatist whose work seeks to plumb the ineffable nature of being human. The recipient of this year's award is Sanaz Toossi (English).

The Frederick Loewe Award, given by the Frederick Loewe Foundation and presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a composer recognizes achievement in a theatrical score presented in New York during the previous theatrical season. The 2022 award will be given to Jeanine Tesori for her work on Kimberly Akimbo.

The DLDF Defender Award is presented by the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund's board to recognize an individual or group's efforts in support of free expression in the dramatic arts. The recipient of this year's award is Alice Childress.

The Lanford Wilson Award was established by the estate of Lanford Wilson and is presented by the Dramatists Guild Council to a dramatist based primarily on their work as an early career playwright. The 2022 award will be shared by Nancy Garcia Loza and Ren Dara Santiago.

This year, the Dramatists Guild will also award two Lifetime Achievement Awards, to Pearl Cleage and Tina Howe. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Dramatists Guild Council in recognition of distinguished lifetime achievement in theatrical writing. Previous recipients include Adrienne Kennedy, A.R. Gurney, John Guare, Micki Grant, Paula Vogel, Terrence McNally, Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock, Lanford Wilson, Joseph Stein, Horton Foote, August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Neil Simon, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Edward Albee, and Arthur Miller. Career Achievement Awards have also been presented to Marsha Norman and Stephen Schwartz.

These awards join the following previously announced awards:

The Flora Roberts Award, administered by the Dramatists Guild Foundation, is presented to a dramatist in recognition of distinguished work in the theater and to encourage the continuation of that work. The recipient of this year's award is Kirsten Childs.

The Hull-Warriner Award is the only award given by dramatists to dramatists; it is presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to an author or team of authors in recognition of their play dealing with controversial subjects involving the fields of political, religious, or social mores of the times. This year's Hull-Warriner Award recipient is Martyna Majok for her play Sanctuary City.

The finalists for this year's Hull-Warriner Award are Where We Stand by Donnetta Lavinia Grays; All the Natalie Portmans by C.A. Johnson; Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury; Suicide Forest by Haruna Lee and Endlings by Celine Song.

This year's ceremony will take place in the evening on Monday, July 25, at Joe's Pub. In addition to celebrating the 2022 recipients of the Dramatists Guild's Awards, the recipients of the 2021 awards will also be honored.

The 2021 Dramatists Guild Awards recipients include the following: Sharai Bohannon received the DLDF Defender Award; William S. Yellow Robe, Jr. received the Flora Roberts Award; and Mariam Bazeed and Rhiana Yazzie received the Lanford Wilson Prize. The Horton Foote Award was shared by Carla Ching, Kia Corthron, Aleshea Harris, Donja R. Love and Mfoniso Udofia. The Dramatists Guild also gave out a Lifetime Achievement Award to Adrienne Kennedy.

Since its inception in 1919, The Dramatists Guild of America has been the professional association for playwrights, librettists, lyricists and composers writing for the American stage. With over 8,000 members around the world, The Guild is guided by a governing council of writers who each give their time, interest and support to advance the rights of dramatists everywhere, including the right for dramatists to own and control their own copyrighted work. The Guild's advocacy, programs, events, publications and other services provide dramatists with the resources, the community and the support they require to protect their property, their livelihoods, and their unique voices in the American theatre.

Sanaz Toossi

Sanaz Toossi is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Her plays include English (co-production Atlantic Theater Company/Roundabout Theatre Company; Weissberger New Play Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) and Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons; Williamstown/Audible, released 2020). She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company (Launch commission; Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant), Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (American Revolutions Cycle). She was the 2019 P73 Playwriting Fellow and a recipient of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award. MFA: NYU Tisch.

Jeanine Tesori

Jeanine Tesori is a composer of musical theater, opera, television and film. She won the Tony Award for Best Score (with bookwriter & lyricist, Lisa Kron) for the musical Fun Home. Her other musicals include Caroline, or Change (with Tony Kushner), Shrek the Musical (with David Lindsay-Abaire), Thoroughly Modern Millie (with Dick Scanlan), Violet (with Brian Crawley), and Soft Power (with David Henry Hwang) which was her second work after Fun Home to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Her latest opera Blue (libretto by Tazewell Thompson) received the MCANA Award for Best New Opera. Along with Missy Mazzoli, she is one of the first women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to her work as a composer, Tesori is the Founding Artistic Director of New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center series, Supervising Vocal Producer of Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, and lecturer in music at Yale University. Her latest musical Kimberly Akimbo will open on Broadway Fall 2022.

Alice Childress

Alice Childress. Born in 1916, Alice Childress grew up to become an actress, playwright, and novelist. A founding member of the American Negro Theatre, she wrote her first play, Florence, in 1949. Childress was the first African American woman to have her play (Gold Through the Trees) professionally produced in New York. In 1955, Trouble in Mind was a critical and popular success Off-Broadway. When producers for a Broadway transfer asked Childress to change the script to make it more palatable to a commercial audience, Childress refused to compromise her vision, ending her chance of being the first African American woman playwright to have a work on Broadway. Trouble in Mind received its Broadway production in 2021. Childress is best known for her novel A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich. Plays by Childress include Wedding Band, Wine in the Wilderness, Florence, Mojo, and Gullah. Childress died in New York in 1994. Throughout her career, she examined the true meaning of being Black, and especially of being Black and female. As Childress herself once said, "I concentrate on portraying have-nots in a have society."


NANCY GARCIA LOZA is a pocha playwright rooted in Chicago, Illinois and Jalisco, México. Her audio drama BRAVA: a folktale con música launched Make-Believe Association's inaugural season (with mention from The New York Times), receiving nominations in several categories at the 2019 ALTA Awards and winning in the category of Outstanding Original Music in a Play for her song "Corrido de la Brava". She is a two-time alum of the national Fornés Playwriting Workshop. She has enjoyed residencies with: Goodman Playwrights Unit & Future Labs, The New Harmony Project, Oregon Shakespeare Festival BLACK SWAN Lab, SPACE on Ryder Farm Institutional Residency, Chicago Dramatists, NNPN, and more. Her work has also been supported by: Paramount Theater (Bull: a love story, World Premiere 2022), Teatro Leyden (Wave, TYA World Premiere 2021), Broken Nose Theatre, Steppenwolf LookOut Series, Something Marvelous, Chicago Theatre Marathon, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, Collaboraction, UIUC Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and more. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the eldest daughter of seven children. She is the keeper of stories in her vast family. A self-taught playwright, she writes from instinct, plays by ear, and is urgently determined to bring the pocha experience, in all its complexity, rawness, and lyricism to American stages. Most recently, she is the 2022 Joyce Award recipient via the The Joyce Foundation, as well as, an APAP ArtsForward Awardee, both in collaboration with the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is currently under commission with Steppenwolf Theatre, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and more. She lives in Chicagolandia and writes in her kitchen. She is Mexican American, no hyphen.

Ren Dara Santiago

Ren Dara Santiago is a non-binary Fili-Rican from Yonkers & Harlem. The Siblings Play premiered in March 2020 at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Ren's work has received development with The Bushwick Starr, The Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Labyrinth Theater, The Lark, MCC Theater, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Member of Rising Phoenix Rep; former Artistic Producer and founding member of Middle Voice at Rattlestick; and the inaugural recipient of Rising Phoenix Rep's Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award.

Pearl Cleage

Pearl Cleage is currently Distinguished Artist in Residence at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, and Atlanta's first Poet Laureate. Her new play Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous had its world premiere at Alliance and recently completed a successful run at Hartford Stage. Her other plays include Pointing at the Moon, Blues for an Alabama Sky, and Flyin' West, the most produced new play in the country in 1994. Her play The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years was commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; her first play for young audiences, Tell Me My Dream, was commissioned and produced by the Alliance in 2015. Cleage received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from her alma mater, Spelman College, and spent two years as a member of the Spelman faculty. She was the founding editor of CATALYST Magazine, an Atlanta-based literary journal for ten years and served as Artistic Director of Just Us Theater Company for five years.

Tina Howe

Tina Howe. Tina Howe's most produced plays include Birth and After Birth, Museum, The Art of Dining, Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances, Approaching Zanzibar, and Pride's Crossing. These and other works premiered at The Public Theater, the Kennedy Center, Second Stage, The Old Globe Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Atlantic Theater Company, Primary Stages, as well as being translated and produced abroad. Her works can be read in numerous anthologies as well as in Coastal Disturbances: Four Plays by Tina Howe and Birth and After Birth and Other Plays: A Marriage Cycle, published by Theatre Communications Group. Her other publications include her translations of Ionesco's The Bald Soprano and The Lesson (Grove Press) and Shrinking Violets and Towering Tiger Lilies: Seven Brief Plays about Women in Distress, (Samuel French), She is also the subject of Howe in an Hour, edited by Judith Barlow, published by Smith and Kraus. Ms. Howe is proud to have served on the Council of the Dramatists Guild since 1990.