Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Yale Drama Series Names Jen Silverman's STILL as 2013 Winner

Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman has selected playwright Jen Silverman as the winner of the 2013 Yale Drama Series for her play Still, chosen from almost 1100 entries from 30 countries. As winner of the competition, Still will be published by Yale University Press, receive a staged reading at Lincoln Center Theater's Claire Tow Theater, and Ms. Silverman will be presented with the David Charles Horn Prize, a cash award of $10,000.

This year's runners-up are Adam Szymkowicz for Mercy (runner-up #1); Jennifer Blackmer for The Human Terrain (runner-up #2); and Catherine Treischmann for The Most Deserving (runner-up #3).

In Still Morgan's baby was born dead, Dolores is pregnant with a child she doesn't want, and failed midwife Elena seeks either redemption or a career change. As all three women confront their fears, their desires, and each other, dead baby Constantinople roams the world, searching for the meaning of the word "wow," a satisfying explanation of S&M, and above all, his mother.

"I was very pleased to judge the 2013 Yale Drama Series, the writing competition established by Francine Horn to honor her husband David Charles Horn," says Marsha Norman. "The winner, Jen Silverman wrote a play that, in both style and content, shook us to our bones. It is called Still, and will leave you sitting that way for quite a while. The other entries (over 1,000 of them) were by and large, bold and deeply felt. The ones I chose to honor as finalists are the ones whose craft and language distinguished them from the rest. They were also the ones that touched me deeply, that made me feel something that lasted beyond the reading of them."

"This award means so much to me," says recipient Jen Silverman, "not only because it is an incredibly generous gift for any emerging playwright, but because it is recognition of a story that has often gone unheard, and a subject that is taboo. Women's bodies are such fraught objects in our current culture: territory to be negotiated and controlled. Given that Still is a play about a mother grieving her stillborn child, a queer dominatrix, and a giant dead baby on a scavenger hunt, and given that it is in many ways a darkly comedic exploration of unsafe territory, this award is deeply meaningful to me in ways that are simultaneously personal and political. I'm honored, excited, and deeply grateful to be the recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award," Silverman concluded.

Jen Silverman is a New York-based playwright whose work has been produced off-Broadway with The Playwrights Realm at the Cherry Lane Theatre (Crane Story), at Cleveland Public Theatre (Akarui), and by the Gallatin School/ NYU (Bones at the Gate). Her play Phoebe in Winter will premiere with Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks in June 2013. She is a member of Youngblood at EST, Uncharted at Ars Nova, Groundbreakers at terraNova, and is an affiliated artist with New Georges and The Lark. Ms. Silverman is a two-time MacDowell fellow, and has developed work with Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, InterAct Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, NY Stage and Film/ Powerhouse, and Seven Devils among others. In 2011 she was a United States delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing. Her play Still won the 2012 Jane Chambers Award. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She was raised in Japan, Europe, and Finland as well as in the United States. As an adult she has continued her nomadic lifestyle, living and travelling in Asia, North Africa, and South America in between concentrated stints of American living. She is currently working on her first book of poetry.

Marsha Norman won the Pulitzer Prize for her play, 'night, Mother, a Tony Award for the book of The Secret Garden, and numerous other prizes and awards for her other work off and on Broadway, which includes the musicals The Color Purple and The Trumpet of the Swan. For the last twenty years, she has been Co-Director, with Christopher Durang, of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Program at the Juilliard School. She is a former Vice-President of the Dramatists Guild of America and a founder of The Lilly Awards. Coming soon, she has a musical of The Bridges of Madison County, with Jason Robert Brown, and a play commissioned by the United Nations about trafficking and violence toward women.

Now in its seventh year, 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. The Yale Drama Series is funded by the David Charles Horn Foundation. Marsha Norman is serving as the sole judge of the 2013 and 2014 competitions. Past judges, who have each served a two-year term are Edward Albee, David Hare, and John Guare. Submissions for the 2014 Yale Drama Series Award will be accepted no earlier than June 1, 2013, and no later than August 15, 2013. For complete contest rules, please visit www.yalepress.yale.edu/ypubooks/drama.asp.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You