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Nashville Rep's Nate Eppler Wins Emerging Playwright Award at 2017 Humana Festival

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Nashville Repertory Theatre Playwright-in-Residence Nate Eppler has been awarded the 2017 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. The award was presented at the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville on April 8.

The Osborn Award recognizes Eppler's The Ice Treatment originally developed as part of the Nashville Rep Ingram New Works Project. The play premiered in Nashville presented by Actors Bridge Ensemble in partnership with Nashville Rep.

The Osborn winner is selected by members of the American Theatre Critics Association. Panelists called the play "Compelling, with fast moving story and well-constructed dialogue... plus a cosmonaut." It's "a darkly funny take on celebrity," concerning a "modern day, working-class monster-or is she?" "Eppler takes an iconic pop culture moment and transforms it into an interrogation of the American dream."

In his remarks to the standing-room-only crowd at the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays, Eppler thanked the audiences and artists of Nashville for their support of his work. "Through staged readings and productions and everything in between, they've given my work incredible support" said Eppler. "Nashville is a city deeply engaged in making room for art in the places we need it. They have made a very public commitment to new works in all forms and I have been very lucky to be a beneficiary."

ATCA's Osborn Award is designed to recognize the work of an emerging playwright. The award was established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. It carries a $1,000 prize, funded by the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association.

"Nate Eppler is an important driving force in this city's burgeoning enthusiasm for new plays. His work with us on the Ingram Project as our Playwright-in-Residence has been integral in bringing the Ingram to national attention" says Rene D. Copeland, Producing Artistic Director of Nashville Rep. "He is a brilliant playwright, and his receiving this national recognition is so well-deserved."

In addition to winning this prestigious award, Eppler was one of six finalists for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for the best scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2016. Also announced at the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays, the award went to Pulitzer-prize winning author Michael Christofer.

The Ice Treatment had its world premiere in Nashville at Actors Bridge Ensemble in July 2016 starring Rachel Agee, Amanda Card, and Antonio P. Nappo. "As a Music City native, it is thrilling for me to behold the ways in which 'The Nashville Sound' is expanding beyond Music Row to include playwrights in our proud legacy of consummate storytellers" says Jessika Malone Associate Artistic Director of Actors Bridge Ensemble. "As Nashville expands and evolves, The Nashville Sound is being redefined as ever more inclusive and reflective of the rich diversity of the brilliant artists who call Nashville home."

Nashville Rep is a non-profit theatre bringing classic and contemporary theatre to Nashville that inspires empathy and prods intellectual and emotional engagement in audiences. Nashville Rep's Ingram New Works Project was created with the support of co-founder Martha R. Ingram to provide an opportunity for theatre artists to develop new theatre works while in residency at Nashville Rep. Visit nashvillerep.org to learn more.


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