MANNING by Benhamin Benne Revealed as Clauder Competition Grand Prize Winner 

The prize is presented by Portland Stage Company.

By: May. 24, 2024
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Portland Stage Company will present Clauder Competition Grand Prize Winner MANNING by New England playwright Benjamin Benne.

After the death of their mother two boys return home to find their father has lost the will to live, and a giant zucchini (that seems to have a heartbeat) sprouts overnight. The brothers try their best to coax their father out of his room. Can all three men develop a communal vocabulary to express their grief with each other?

Manning is a heartwarming meditation on male grief; nature vs nurture; and how we all cope with loss. Sebastian returns home with his newly bonded hawk after his younger brother Freddy discovers one of his zucchinis has grown to gargantuan size. Freddy asks Sebastian to stay when he reveals their father Julio isn't eating and has lost the will to live after the death of Ana, his wife and the boys' mother. Can Sebastian and Freddy inspire Julio to cope? Or will they be thwarted by nature (or nurture). 

Benjamin Benne (he/him) is a Playwrights’ Center Affiliated Writer, American Blues Theater Blue Ink Playwriting Award winner, Arizona Theatre Company National Latinx Playwriting Award winner, KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award winner, and was recently named part of “LA Vanguardia: The Latino innovators, investigators and power players breaking through barriers” by the Los Angeles Times. His plays include Alma (World Premiere ‘22: Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles & American Blues Theater in Chicago; Seattle Premiere ‘22: ArtsWest Playhouse; Regional Premiere ‘23: Curious Theatre Company in Denver; Central Square Theater in Cambridge MA), In His Hands (World Premiere ‘22: Mosaic Theater Company of DC), and What / Washed Ashore / Astray (World Premiere ‘23: Pillsbury House + Theatre in Minneapolis). He is a current member of Primary Stage’s Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group and has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory and Seattle Repertory. MFA: David Geffen/Yale School of Drama ’22.

Manning by Benjamin Benne is the 2022 Grand Prize Winner of the Clauder Competition for New England Playwrights. It was workshopped at Portland Stage in the Little Festival of the Unexpected in 2023, and this production will be the world premier of the play. Manning has also been workshopped at La Jolla and was developed with support from the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages (NYC). Manning also received an academic production at Yale.


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