Michelle Carter's 20 FRIENDS Wins 2014 Ebell of Los Angeles Playwright Prize; Staged Reading of 20 FRIENDS Set for 5/4

Underrepresented both in front of and behind the scenes, women still struggle to cross the gender gap in the entertainment industry. This fact is particularly acute for female playwrights, who only get 22% of playwright spots in the country. The Ebell of Los Angeles, a non-profit organization founded in 1894 by and for women, has responded to this gender inequity by resurrecting the Ebell Playwright Prize. Created in 1928, but dormant for almost a century, the goal of the Ebell Playwright Prize is an award to encourage, inspire, and celebrate our California women playwrights. The Ebell of Los Angeles is proud to announce that the winner of the 2014 Ebell Playwright Prize is Michelle Carter, for her play 20 Friends.

A staged reading of the winning play, 20 Friends by Michelle Carter, directed by Ellen Sandler, will be presented on Sunday May 4, 2014, at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles, 90005. The readers are: Christina Pickles, Robin Riker, Catheryn Brockett, Michael Campbell, Hayley Hirsch, Angie Kelly, and Patrick Mackellan. The 5:00 p.m. reading will be followed by supper. Cost is $35 for Ebell members, $40 for non-members. Tickets are available at www.ebelleventtickets.com or call 323.931.1277 ext. 131.

Phyllis moved from one sugar daddy to the next, dreaming of the day when one of them would leave his wife and offer her a secure future. Now she's 65 and a chain-smoking agoraphobe; and she's been evicted. Although Phyllis and her daughter Kathleen haven't spoken in years, Kathleen agrees to try to help her mother. While searching high and low for an apartment in San Francisco that allows smoking, Kathleen pitches TV pilot ideas to her producer ex, Richard, hoping to sell him on a show so she can support her mother.

A two-time recipient of the PEN USA Award in Drama (2012, 2003), Ms. Carter is an award-winning author and professor at San Francisco State University. She's held numerous residencies and her plays have been produced and developed at various notable international theatres. Ms. Carter has published plays with Dramatic Publishing and a novel with Penguin Books.

Ms. Sandler is a producer and writer best known for her work on Everybody Loves Raymond (Emmy-nominated and Co-Executive Producer), The Mommies, and Coach. A veteran writer/producer of hit television shows, she is a leading TV writing expert and career coach.

For more on the Ebell Playwright Prize, see www.ebellplaywrightprize.com.

Photo Credit: Ebell of Los Angeles Playwright Prize

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