Donja R. Love Names Matty Mahoski As The Recipient Of 2023 Write It Out! Prize For Playwrights Living With HIV

Mahoski will receive a $5,000 cash award and dramaturgical support.

By: Dec. 01, 2023
Donja R. Love Names Matty Mahoski As The Recipient Of 2023 Write It Out! Prize For Playwrights Living With HIV
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This World AIDS Day, Donja R. Love (one in two, soft) has revealed Matty Mahoski as the 2023 recipient of the Write It Out! Prize for playwrights living with HIV. In partnership with National Queer Theater, this year Love personally selected Mahoski's play UN(IN)SURE after reading the work of four finalists who were chosen by readers from Write It Out!

"Matty's play is clever and muscular. I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the story. How they used absurdism to speak to the incompetence and brokenness of the healthcare system was painful and hilarious. The play triggered my anxiety as I recalled many frustrating experiences navigating the healthcare system. Above all, Matty's play made me feel like I am not alone." said Donja R. Love, creator of the prize, which is part of his Write It Out! program for people living with HIV.

Founded by Love in 2019, Write It Out! (WIO!) is a groundbreaking playwright's program and prize for people living with HIV and AIDS. Write It Out! takes pride in being created by the community for the community. It is designed to cultivate a space for those living with HIV to grow their artistic voice while in community.

Write It Out! understands that HIV Stigma exists. The decision to openly live with HIV still carries the risk of discrimination. A lot of care and consideration goes into a recipient of this prize deciding to go public with this announcement. The program honors its participants' journeys regarding their HIV status and disclosure.

In 2021, Dominic Colón was named the inaugural recipient of the Write It Out! Prize for his play The War I Know. The 2021 Write It Out! prize was funded by Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter, known for his roles on the hit TV show Pose and the musical Kinky Boots, with additional support from LGBTQ nonprofit GLAAD.

As the recipient of the 2023 Write It Out! Prize, Mahoski will receive a cash award of $5,000, as well as a year of dramaturgical support to develop a new work in the coming year.

"Receiving the Write It Out! Prize is a powerful affirmation of my personal progress, as well as a recognition of the heart and effort I have poured into this play. As an early career playwright, receiving these generous resources will create a firm foundation to stand on as I continue to learn and grow in this medium." says Mahoski, "Becoming HIV positive forced me to reimagine my life in every way I had previously considered it. Living with HIV has empowered me to walk fully into who I am and to hold myself with strength, with love, and with the knowledge that I am not alone; I am in community. The WIO! cohort and prize have helped me to recognize that I want my work and my art to be of service to our community."

The Write It Out! prize culminates in an in-person reading of Mahoski's new work, which they will develop during their time as the prize's 2023 recipient. The reading is scheduled for 2024.

The year's prize was made possible thanks to the generous support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Terrence McNally Foundation, ViiV Healthcare, and GLAAD. For more information about Write It Out!, visit the program's website.

Matty Mahoski

(they/them) is a multi-hyphenate, interdisciplinary creator and performer. An alumnus of NYU Tisch School for the Arts Department of Drama in the New Studio on Broadway and the Experimental Theatre Wing, Matty's work focuses on creating art and telling stories through various mediums, often centering movement and music. As a queer, trans, non-binary, neurodivergent, Jewish, artist who lives with HIV, Matty's experience navigating these intersections of identity and perspective heavily influences their work. Matty's writing was recently featured in the Write It Out! 2022 World AIDS Day presentation through the National Queer Theatre. Their choreography was recently featured in New York Theatre Barns 2022 OPEN Choreography Lab livestream presentation. They are also the recipient of the 2023 Write It Out! Prize for their play, UN(IN)SURE.

Donja R. Love

(he/they) is Black, Queer, living with HIV, and thriving. They've graced the cover of POZ Magazine's POZ 100 issue, A&U Magazine, and Positively Aware. They're one of Plus Magazine's "Most Amazing People living with HIV". They're the recipient of POZ's Best in Performing Arts Award, the Horton Foote Playwriting Award, the Terrance McNally Award, the Antonyo's inaugural Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Laurents/Hatcher Award, and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. Other honors include the Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Championship. Plays include soft (MCC), one in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club), and What Will Happen to All That Beauty? They're a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School.

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