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40th Annual Kesselring Prize for Playwriting to be Presented to Mona Mansour by The National Arts Club


The virtual ceremony will feature special guests Corey Stoll, Deirdre O’Connell, Nadia Bowers, Tala Ashe, Nadine Malouf, Hadi Tabbal and more.

40th Annual Kesselring Prize for Playwriting to be Presented to Mona Mansour by The National Arts Club

The 2020 Kesselring Prize for playwriting-a $25,000 award given annually to an outstanding playwright deserving of national recognition-is to be presented to Mona Mansour by The National Arts Club during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, February 25 at 6:00 PM.

This marks the 40th year of the Kesselring Prize-presented annually by the Club-and the evening includes a special look back at the history of the award, in addition to the tribute to Mansour. Under the direction of Michael Parva, longtime artistic director of the Kesselring Prize, the evening features readings from Mansour's plays, with a cast featuring Tala Ashe, Nadia Bowers, Deirdre O'Connell, Joshua Chessin-Yudin, Sarah Nina Hayon, Nadine Malouf, Corey Stoll, and Hadi Tabbal.

"At a time when the theatre community has been so challenged, we are grateful to be able to offer our continued support through the Kesselring Prize," said Alice Palmisano, President of The National Arts Club. "Ms. Mansour joins a talented and diverse group of playwrights who have received this award-which, over the years, has become an indicator of future success. We look forward to celebrating her work during this special evening."

The online event is free and available to the public with registration. Information on registration can be found at

Mansour's best-known works include THE VAGRANT TRILOGY (three plays spanning five generations of the life of a Palestinian man and his family), and WE SWIM, WE TALK, WE GO TO WAR. Mansour also leads the Middle-Eastern Playwrights Unit at the celebrated playwright development company, Lark Theatre, and is co-founder of the theater collective Society.

The Kesselring Prize for playwriting was established in 1980 by National Arts Club member Charlotte Kesselring - widow of noted playwright and Club member Joseph Kesselring (ARSENIC AND OLD LACE) - to honor and support as yet nationally unrecognized playwrights. Past recipients include Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, NickySilver, Lynn Nottage, Bridgette Carpenter, Tracey Scott Wilson, Rajiv Joseph, and more recently Lucas Hnath, Lindsey Ferrentino, Lauren Yee, James Ijames and Inda Craig-Galvin.

Each year, the National Arts Club invites nonprofit theatres across the U.S. to nominate an emerging playwright for the Kesselring Prize, which is then selected by a committee led by NAC Board of Governors Member David Glanstein that includes the Tony Award-winning playwright John Guare, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Lincoln Center Theater dramaturg Anne Cattaneo, recipient of the 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship in Theater Arts. Michael Parva, artistic director of The Directors Company in NYC, has been the Kesselring Prize artistic director since its inception in 1980.

Mansour was nominated for the Kesselring by Seattle Rep.

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