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American Blues Theater Now Accepting Submissions for 2017 National Blue Ink Playwriting Award


American Blues Theater, Chicago's second oldest Equity Ensemble, under the continued leadership of Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announce the submission period for the 2017 National Blue Ink Playwriting Award. Playwrights are invited to submit one (1) manuscript for consideration. The winner will have the opportunity to further develop their script with American Blues Theatre. The submission period runs July 1 - August 31, 2016. Submissions are accepted via email at

American Blues named Nathan Alan Davis the winner of the 2016 National Blue Ink Playwriting AwarD. Davis' play, The Wind and the Breeze, was selected from a pool 449 submissions. As part of the award, Davis received a $1,000 cash prize and a staged reading of The Wind and the Breeze directed by Lisa Portes. Additionally, three of the 2016 finalists were recently named to the 2016 Kilroys List, the annual industry survey of excellent unproduced new plays by female and transgender playwrights.

About the Blue Ink Playwriting Award

The annual Blue Ink Playwriting Award was created in 2010 to support new work. Since inception, American Blues Theater has named 6 Award winners, 4 runners-up, 20 finalists, and 46 semi-finalists. American Blues awarded more than $4,000 in cash prizes for 2016.

Each year American Blues Theater accepts worldwide submissions of original, unpublished full-length plays. The winning play is selected by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and the theater's Ensemble. The playwright receives a monetary prize of $1,000 and a developmental workshop or staged reading at American Blues Theater in Chicago.

Submissions for the 2017 Blue Ink Playwriting Award open July 1, 2016. All submissions must be received by American Blues Theater by August 31, 2016 at 11:59pm. Playwrights may only submit one (1) manuscript each year for consideration.

About American Blues Theater

American Blues Theater is the premier American theater producing visceral theatrical works while engaging its audience in missions of local service agencies. American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays produced and communities served.

The multi-generational and interdisciplined artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 36-member Ensemble has 538 combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2016, the theater and artists received 172 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and over 28 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.

The American Blues Theater Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and WilLiam Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Manny Buckley, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Dara Cameron, Casey Campbell, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum, Austin Cook, Laura Coover, Ian Paul Custer, Lauri Dahl, Joe Foust, Cheryl Graeff, Marty Higginbotham, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Warren Levon, Michael Mahler, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Christopher J. Neville, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross and Gwendolyn Whiteside.

American Blues Theater programs and activities are made possible, in part by funding by The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at Prince, the Shubert Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, SMART Growth Grant, Arts Work Fund, and Actors' Equity Foundation. ComEd is the Season Lighting Sponsor.

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