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Nilo Cruz Honored With DUTF Playwright Master’s Award

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On Wednesday, April 13, Nilo Cruz, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, Anna in the Tropics, will be the recipient of the first-ever DUTF Playwright Master's Award on Opening Night at the 9th Annual Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF.) This award, to be presented at the MMAC Theater in Manhattan, comes on the 15th Anniversary of his off-Broadway debut with Dancing on Her Knees at The Public Theater in 1996.

Nilo Cruz shot to national prominence in 2003 when he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, and became the first Hispanic-American to win the coveted award. Cuban-born Cruz came to the U.S. on a Freedom Flight shortly before his tenth birthday. He grew up in Miami, attended Miami-Dade Community College and later earned an MFA in playwriting at Brown University. Cruz has become one of the country's most produced Cuban-American writers with a repertoire including Lorca in a Green Dress, Night Train to Bolina, A Bicycle Country, Dancing on Her Knees, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and A Piano and Hortensia, Beauty of the Father and The Museum of Dreams.

DUTF has been recognized as one of the world's best festivals for new works and described as "not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves." (Theater Festivals, 2005) From an inclusive, multicultural perspective, DUTF presents works that echo the true spirit of urban life and speak to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. It has been a catalyst and an outlet for some of the nation's most vibrant and creative playwrights such as Craig "muMs" Grant, James Earl Hardy, Mario Bosquez, Carlos Andres Gomez, Mayda del Valle, Desmond Hall, Carl Hancock Rux, Jessica Care Moore and many others. In 2011, Reg E. Gaines, Tony and Grammy-nominated writer of Bring in da Noise Bring in da Funk, will be our Artistic Director while we celebrate a milestone of 100 plays presented over DUTF's nine-year history.

This Opening Night Reception honoring Nilo Cruz will he held on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00pm and is open to the public. Space is limited and requires a confirmed reservation via dutfnyc@gmail.com.

The festival will run from April 13 to April 23, 2011 at MMAC (Manhattan Movement & Arts Center), 248 West 60th Street, Manhattan (www.manhattanmovement.com). Tickets and complete schedule is available at www.downtownurban.net.


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