Abingdon Theatre Honors Rob Winn Anderson with 2012 Christopher Brian Wolk Award for THE TENTH SON, 12/10


Abingdon Theatre Company, in an ongoing effort to recognize excellence in playwriting, established the Christopher Brian Wolk Award to be presented annually to an American writer of a full-length play not produced in New York City. The award is based upon the writer's demonstrated ability to reach a mature artistic vision using theatre. Playwright Rob Winn Anderson will receive the $1,000 cash award and a staged reading of his script The Tenth Son, directed by Jules Ochoa, at the award ceremony, December 10, starting at 7:00PM in the June Havoc Theatre, 312 West 36th Street, Midtown, Manhattan.

The Tenth Son was nominated along with five other scripts from nearly 400 play submissions submitted to Abingdon during its 2011-2012 season. A five-member selection committee, including actors, directors, playwrights, determined the winning script. Mr. Anderson’s script was chosen through a blind selection process through which the judges did not know the name or other identifying information about the playwrights of the nominated scripts.

The Tenth Son takes place in the summer of 1722. The heat of the day pales in comparison to the turbulent relationship 16-year old Benjamin Franklin has with his older brother, James, and the intense passion he has found in the arms of a somewhat older, Mary Beekman.

When James attempts to restrain what he considers Ben's growing arrogance, Ben, with Mary's help, challenges him. In doing so, Ben becomes embroiled in a battle of medicine, religion and political manipulations. He must rely on all of his instincts to stealthily maneuver his way onto the pages of James' newspaper, The New England Courant, stand toe-to-toe with an influential Puritan minister and outwit two men determined to stir the pot and control, not only the paper, but Boston as well.

Abingdon Theatre Company, celebrating its 20th season, is led by Artistic Director Jan Buttram and Managing Director Samuel J. Bellinger. Abingdon is dedicated to developing and producing new plays by American Playwrights.

The prize is given annually since 2001 to full-length scripts submitted to Abingdon during its current season. The award is named after Christopher Brian Wolk, a talented and creative actor, musician, singer, writer and composer who died in an accident in National Glacier Park, Montana. To honor his memory, Abingdon Theatre Company and the Wolk family have created the award to celebrate excellence in playwriting. Christopher worked extensively with Abingdon including both the workshop and the main stage productions of Zona, the Ghost of Greenbrier.

Rob Winn Anderson is a playwright and freelance director and choreographer living in Orlando, FL. In addition to his writing and directing for the stage he is also a noted Theme Park director working for such clients as Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens and Sea World. Upcoming productions: A Tennessee Walk - Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre and Jacksonville State University.

Additional honors include: A Tennessee Walk – Winner, 2011 SART ScriptFEST competition; 2012 Southern Playwrights competition; Finalist, 2009 Yale Drama Series Award; Semi-Finalist, The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference; A Fine Line - Finalist, Lark Play Development Conference; The Locker - Finalist, The Heideman Award from The Actors Theatre of Louisville; Broad Strokes – Finalist, The O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Music Theatre Conference (2011, 2002); Finalist, The New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Rob was one of four playwrights chosen worldwide to participate in the Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency in October of 2003 under Master Artist, Eric Bogosian. He also is an alumni of the Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab, the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive, Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Great Plains Theatre Conference.

The Christopher Brian Wolk Award ceremony honoring Rob Winn Anderson takes place on Monday, December 10, 2012, in the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street) beginning at 7:00pm. A wine reception will follow the staged reading. The ceremony is open to the public free of charge. For more information about Abingdon Theatre Company (312 West 36th Street) and its 20th season, visit www.abingdontheatre.org.

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