Larry Powell Receives The Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award

The aAward carries a cash prize and includes publication of one of the playwright’s works in Rising Phoenix Rep’s theatre arts magazine.

By: May. 19, 2021
Larry Powell Receives The Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award

Rising Phoenix Repertory has announced that Larry Powell is the recipient of this year's Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award. The honor is presented to an emerging playwright of exceptional work ethic, character, and talent.

The award takes its name from Cornelia Street in the West Village, which has been home to the work of some of the nation's greatest playwrights, including Eugene O'Neill, Maria Irene Fornés, Lanford Wilson, and John Guare, and was also the location of Caffe Cino, one of the birthplaces of the Off-Off Broadway theatre movement.

The Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award carries a cash prize and includes publication of one of the playwright's works in Rising Phoenix Rep's theatre arts magazine, Caffe Cino. Previous recipients are Ren Dara Santiago (The Siblings Play, The MTA Radio Plays at Rattlestick) and Ryan Haddad (Hi, Are You Single? at The Public, Wooly Mammoth/IAMA).

"Through his artistic process, Larry goes deep into stories, characters, systems, dynamics, and communities," commented Addie Talbott, Artistic Associate of Rising Phoenix Rep. "The work itself unfolds like alchemy - always greater than the sum of its parts, and always transformational even as it remains rooted in care and profound love for real things and real people."

"I first met Larry in 2008 in an acting class taught by the legendary Michele Shay, recalls Emmy-nominated actor and longtime collaborator Tracie Thoms. "Immediately I was enamored by this super open, emotionally available conduit of the human condition. I somehow knew I'd know him forever. I'm so in awe of him, and I've been there for so many openings, plays, readings, workshops, masterclasses, and webseries, and I will continue to follow this genius wherever he goes. He truly challenges everyone around him to rise to the occasion, and we all do, and we learn that we are better than we thought we could be."

Larry Powell is a true artist born and raised in South Central LA. As an actor he has premiered some of the most exciting New Plays of the past decade including The Christians by Lucas Hnath, The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez, Father Comes Home from the Wars by Suzan Lori Parks, Brokeology by Nathan Louis Jackson, While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, Curve of Departure by Rachel Bonds, Seared by Theresa Rebeck and Bronzeville by Aaron Woolfolk and Tim Toyama. He also stars as Lawrence in the movie The Browsing Effect (PrimeVideo). He's been nominated for and won a host of fancy acting awards for his work on stage. But, more importantly, he continues to build a mighty network of exquisite, multicultural changemaking artists. That has been the most rewarding aspect of his career. He is the recipient of the 2021 IAMA Theatre Company Shonda Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Award and is an inaugural Circle of Confusion Writers Discovery Fellow. He wrote the play The Gaze, a 2021 O'Neill NPC finalist, and adapted it into an award-winning digital series during the early days of the pandemic. "The Gaze Series" is a 2021 Webby Award Honoree and the 2021 Micheaux Film Festival's Best Comedic Digital Series Winner. He also Wrote/Directed/Starred In/Produced his debut feature film project "Mother's Milk: A Film Quilt" (2021 Seattle International Film Festival's New American Cinema Special Jury Prize). Serving as Adjunct Lecturer, Larry has directed stellar productions of The Brothers Size and Pipeline at USC's School of Dramatic Arts. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama and Founder of Free The Arts, a holistic experience for diverse, intergenerational Black artists to put-each-other-on-game through quality training, community, opportunity, and new, bold works for a new audience.