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Jiehae Park Wins 2013 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers; Lilly Awards Set for 6/3 at Playwrights Horizons

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Jiehae Park will receive the 2013 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers at the fourth annual Lilly Awards held on June 3rd, 6pm at Playwright's Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street in New York. Her award winning new play, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, will have a public reading, directed by Jose Zayas on Tuesday, June 4 at 7pm at Primary Stages located at 307 W 38th St #1510 (between 8th and 9th Avenue) in New York. For reservations, email leahryansfeww@gmail.com.

HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO is the story of Hannah, a young Korean-American woman who receives a Fed Ex box that contains two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart's-desire-level wish, and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Korea, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of the Sunrise Dewdrop Apartment City for Senior Living onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South. They'll need North Korea's permission to recover the body, but Kim Jong Il just kicked the bucket, and things in the DMZ are even stranger than they appear.

Jiehae Park is a playwright and actor based in NYC. Her second full-length play, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, will be developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ojai Playwrights Conference this summer. Along with winning the Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers, HANNAH was a finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and Abingdon Theatre's Chris Wolk Award. Her first play (and undergrad thesis), HAPPY MOON DAY, HOLLY WOO was a finalist for the Wolk Award and placed third in the East West Players GOT LAUGHS national comedy playwriting competition. Park is member of the Ma Yi Writers Lab, a 2013 mentor for the O'Neill Young Playwrights Festival, and served two years as co-artistic director of title3, a Los Angeles company dedicated to new works by women. As an actor, she has worked with NYTW, La Jolla Playhouse, Collection of Shiny Objects, Studio Theatre 2ndStage (DC), Young Playwrights Theatre (DC), title3 (LA), and REDCAT (LA). In film she has appeared in STEP UP; AMATEURS (2013). Park received her MFA (acting), from the UCSD/La Jolla Playhouse and a BA general theater from, Amherst College.

Jose Zayas has directed over 70 productions in New York, regionally and Internationally. He was recently appointed Resident Director at Repertorio Espano and he is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. His directing credits include: Pinkolandia, The House of the Spirits, Love in the Time of Cholera, Madre, Nowhere on the Border, Southern Promises, Father of Lies, Vengeance Can Wait, PS Jones and the Frozen City Feeder: A Love Story, Luz, Okay, Mrs Jones and the Man From DixelandZayas is winner of the 2007 nytheater.com's People of the Year Award, and multiple HOLA, ACE, Premios ATI and Ovation awards. Zayas received his BA from Harvard University, and his MFA from Carnegie Mellon.

Leah Ryan's Fund for Emerging Women Writers (FEWW) and its annual prize were established in 2010 to honor the memory of Leah Ryan, and to encourage and support the work of women writers. It is the purpose of the prize to perpetuate the integrity, compassion and creativity that Leah herself possessed and inspired in others.

Leah Ryan's FEWW intends both to encourage brilliant and unrecognized women playwrights with an annual cash prize and a New York City showcase of the winning work. In addition, the fund plans to provide financial support to women writers afflicted with a serious illness. For more information, visit www.leahryansfeww.com/index.html.

Runner's up for the 2013 Prize were Jen Silverman for ALL THE ROADS HOME, and Andrea Stolowitz for ITHAKA.

The Lilly Awards were started in the spring of 2010 as a way to honor the work of women in the American Theater. The founders of The Lilly Awards, or The Lillys as we affectionately refer to them, are Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck. The awards are named for Lillian Hellman, a pioneering American playwright who famously said "You need to write like the devil and act like one when necessary." The awards continue in the tradition of her spirit and annually honor the work of women in the American Theater. For more information about the Lilly Awards, visit www.thelillyawards.org.


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