2016 Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival Announces Six Winning Plays

2016 Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival Announces Six Winning Plays

Samuel French has announced the winners of the 2016 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, the nation's premier short play competition.

The six winning plays were presented in a Showcase on Sunday, August 14 at the conclusion of the week-long festival at the East 13th Street Theater (Classic Stage Company).

These plays will be published, and available for licensing by Samuel French in the 41st Annual edition of its Off Off Broadway Plays collection:

The Final 30 were chosen from 1,500 submissions from the U.S. and abroad. Each play was 10 to 30 minutes in length, and competed for the six top prizes in last week's competition. For this year's Festival, Samuel French assembled a prestigious judging panel representing playwrights, artistic directors, and other theatre industry professionals, who selected the finalists: playwrights George Brant (Grounded,Elephant's Graveyard), Gretchen Cryer (I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road), Josh Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Other), and Crystal Skillman (Geek, Cut); Artistic Directors Evan Cabnet (LCT3), Jen Grigg (Fusion Theatre, Albuquerque), NiegelSmith (The Flea), and Susan Westfall (City Theatre, Miami); and journalists Michael Gioia (Playbill), Howard Sherman (Arts Integrity Initiative), Jack Smart (Backstage), and Rob Weinert-Kendt (American Theatre Magazine). From the pool of Finalists, the Samuel French festival staff selected the winners.

"Thank you Samuel French for thinking up the Off Off Broadway Festival," says playwright Tina Howe, the honorary playwright of the 2016 Festival. "I mean, who really cares about emerging playwrights, those gibbering souls who hear voices in their head? Samuel French does. And in spades! The support and recognition this festival provides gives them more courage and success than you can imagine! Rock on Samuel French!"

Originating in 1975, the OOB Festival is one of Samuel French's primary initiatives to work with the next wave of emerging playwrights. The Festival has served as a doorway to future success for many aspiring dramatists, and has helped launched the work of such notables as Theresa Rebeck, Shirley Lauro, Sheila Callaghan, Bekah Brunstetter, Steve Yockey, Saviana Stanescu, David Johnston, and Daniel Pearle.

Samuel French is the world's leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals. The company's catalog features some of the most acclaimed work ever written for the stage and titles by writers at the forefront of contemporary drama. Samuel French is proud to have served as a leader in theatrical publishing and licensing for over 180 years and is committed to the future by championing for playwrights, innovating the industry, and celebrating all those who make theatre around the world.

ABOUT THE 2016 WINNING PLAYWRIGHTS:

KORDE ARRINGONT TUTTLE (clarity)

Korde Arrington Tuttle is a multi-disciplinary artist from Charlotte, NC. Recent work includes: The Downside of Being a Fish, which was presented at The New School's 2015 AfroFuturism Conference and The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, in collaboration with The Tenth Zine; Graveyard Shift (The New School); clarity (Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival); who is burning black churches? (The 24-Hour Plays: Nationals 2015); and is developing a new play at this year's 48Hours in... Harlem (Harlem9). Korde is currently pursuing a MFA in Playwriting at The New School. clarity has received development support from The Fire This Time Festival. See what he's up on on tumblr, instagram, and twitter via @heykorde.

Jonathan Josephson (Grandpa and the Gay Rabbi)

26 of Jonathan's plays have been produced at site-specific locations, schools and theatres around the world including Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), Milwaukee Rep (RepLab), San Jose Rep (SJREAL), and Chance Theater. Jonathan is the Executive Director of Unbound Productions which has produced ten of his adaptations as a part of Wicked Lit and History Lit including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Las Lloronas,The Grove of Rashomon and Anansi and the Demons. Jonathan has received an Individual Artist Award from the Pasadena Arts Council to create the Sherlock Holmes mash-up Holmes, Sherlock, and The Consulting Detective, is a four-time Finalist for Actors Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award and a Finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. B.A.Theatre: Playwriting from UCSD. Proud member of the Dramatist Guild, Lifetime Member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. The play is dedicated to my grandfather, Gabriel Testa, and Rabbi Zachary Shapiro.

LIZZIE VIEH (Monsoon Season)

Lizzie Vieh is a playwright and actor. Her full-length plays include The Loneliest Number, Backwater Rising,Barrier Islands, and Wisconsin Death Trip. Her work has been performed at the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, The Wild Project, Daryl Roth Theater, MTC Studios, The Kraine, and The Brown/Trinity Graduate Program. MFA Brown/Trinity, BA Brown University.

FRANCE-LUCE BENSON (Risen From the Dough)

France-Luce Benson is an honored Dramatists Guild Fellow 2015-2016, and a Lifetime Member at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Awards include: Winner of the National Play Network Award for Short Playwriting, (Risen from the Dough); The Kilroys List- Honorable Mention (Boat People); Alfred P. Sloan New Play Commission (The Devil's Salt); Alfred P. Sloan ScreenplayAward (Healing Roots); KCATF Lorraine Hansberry Award-Honorable Mention (Fati's Last Dance); NYTW's 2050 Fellowship (Finalist), and a PONY Nominee. Her plays have been produced by The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Fire This Time Festival, the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center/City Theatre of Miami, Crossroads Theatre, The Billy Holiday Theatre, and Duke University, among others. Her plays have also been featured by Classic Theatre of Harlem's New Classics series and Victory Gardens Theatre's Ignition Festival. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, and is an Associate Professor at St. Johns University.

LINDSAY JOY (The Cleaners)

Lindsay grew up in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire. She's a proud member of the Amoralists 'Wright Club, and the all-lady ass-kicking Beehive Collective. She recently served as Co-Artistic Director to the Award Winning LabRats Theater Company. The Rats production of Lindsay's full length play, The Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen, garnered two NYIT awards Including "Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play" and "Outstanding Director." Last year, The Farm Theater commissioned Lindsay to collaborate with three colleges over the course of 2014/2015, the resulting play, In the Event of my Death was produced at Ashland University, Centre College, and Clark University. In the Event... is slated for its New York premiere in August of 2016, produced by Stable Cable Theater Company. Vertigo Theater Company's "Bareknuckle" (a sight specific evening set in Dumbo's famed Gleason's Boxing Gym) featured her script Clinch. She loves the Red Sox and coffee.

LINDSEY KRAFT & Andrew Leeds (Wedding Bash)

Lindsey Kraft is a writer/actor from Long Island, NY. She recently finished a 3-season run on the HBO series "Getting On". She has also appeared on "Veep," "Grace & Frankie," "Two Broke Girls," "NCIS," "Children's Hospital," "Bones," "Wayward Pines," "Suits," "The Newsroom" and many others. She will next be seen in the film A Futile and Stupid Gesture. Her work as a playwright has been produced in Los Angeles where she resides.

Andrew Leeds has appeared on stage in Falsettos (Broadway) and Les Miserables (National Tour.) On television, he was a regular on the ABC sitcom "Cristela," and he did a three-season arc as the villain on "Bones." Other television includes: "Veep," "Modern Family," "American Horror Story," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Workaholics." He will next be seen in the Dreamworks movie, Office Christmas Party. He has written and produced television pilots for ABC, NBC, FOX, USA, and Showtime. Andrew is also a member of the Groundlings Main Company.

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