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Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig Wins Yale Drama Series Award


The award-winning playwright David Hare has announced that Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is the recipient of the 2009 Yale Drama Series Award for Playwriting for her play Lidless.  Ms. Cowhig's Yale Drama Series prize includes a $10,000 award from the David C. Horn Foundation, along with a staged reading of the work at Yale Rep in September 2009 (date TBA) and the publication of the play by Yale University Press.

Mr. Hare, the Olivier Award-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, served as judge of this year's third annual Yale Drama Series, having succeeded playwright Edward Albee, who selected the Series' winning plays during the award's inaugural year in 2007 and again last year.  Mr. Hare will repeat as judge of the Yale Drama Series in 2010.

Along with the first place honor for Lidless, Mr. Hare announced that The Danger of Bleeding Brown by Enrique Urueta and Hell Money by Ruth McKee have been selected as runners-up for the 2009 competition.

Lidless -- chosen from 650 submissions -- is Ms. Cowhig's play about a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who journeys to the home of his female U.S. Army interrogator 15 years after his detention, demanding half her liver for the damage she wreaked on his body and soul during her interrogations.

About the selection of Ms. Cowhig's play, Mr. Hare says, "Lidless was the clear winner, an extraordinary and original attempt to show the enduring strain on the victims of the U.S.'s deployment of torture at Guantanamo."

Set to receive her Master of Fine Arts from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin this May, Ms. Cowhig is a graduate of Brown University and International School of Beijing.

Irish writer John Connolly was the recipient of the first Yale Drama Series award for playwriting in 2007 for his play Boys From Siam, while Neil Wechsler won the 2008 prize for his play Grenadine.

David Hare's many plays include Plenty, Amy’s View, Stuff Happens, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, The Vertical Hour and Gethsemane.  Hare’s screenplay for The Reader was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award, while his other work for film includes The Hours, The Corrections, Strapless and My Zinc Bed.

The Yale Drama Series is jointly sponsored by Yale University Press and Yale Repertory Theatre, and is generously funded by the David C. Horn Foundation.

The David C. Horn Foundation was established in 2003 by Francine Horn to honor the memory of her late husband, a beloved figure as publisher and CEO of "Here & There," the leading international forecasting and reporting publication for the fashion industry.  Ms. Horn created the Foundation to support new initiatives in the literary and dramatic arts by way of commemorating her husband's lifetime commitment to the written word.

Yale University Press, founded in 1908, is one of the largest and most distinguished American university presses.  It publishes over 320 books a year in a wide range of disciplines, including history, literature, drama, art and architecture, American studies, philosophy, politics, religion, reference, music and the sciences.

Yale Repertory Theatre, founded in 1966, is one of America's leading professional theaters.  Each season, Yale Rep produces exciting new plays and bold interpretations of the classics.  A champion of new work, Yale Rep has produced nearly 100 world and American premieres by playwrights such as Lee Blessing, Athol Fugard, Marcus Gardley, John Guare, Wendy MacLeod, Terrence McNally, Richard Nelson, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Derek Walcott and August Wilson.  Ten Yale Rep productions have advanced to Broadway, garnering nearly 40 Tony Award nominations and eight awards.  Yale Rep itself has been honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater.

Submissions for the 2010 Yale Drama Series competition must be postmarked no earlier than June 1, 2009 and no later than August 15, 2009.

For additional information and rules regarding submissions, visit

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