2014 Winner of the Terrence McNally New Play Award Announced

2014 Winner of the Terrence McNally New Play Award Announced

Philadelphia Theatre Company is pleased to announce Martín Zimmerman as the recipient of the third Terrence McNally New Play Award for the development of his play Let Me Count The Ways. The Terrence McNally New Play Award is a cash prize given annually to recognize a new play that celebrates the transformative power of art. The Award will also include a year of development support at PTC, including readings as well as administrative support and networking to help manage the future of the play beyond its time at PTC.

The Terrence McNally New Play Award is underwritten in part by The Peter Arger and Donald Wilf New Play Fund.

The Award was announced by PTC's Executive Producing Director Sara Garonzik on May 7 at their spring PTC@Play reading of American Canvas by Bill Cain, the winner of the inaugural Terrence McNally New Play Award about Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins. A. Zell Williams, whose play The Urban Retreat won the 2013 Award, is currently in rehearsals in New York City at the Public Theatre, where it will receive a developmental production open to the public. The show will run from May 16 to 25.

"Philadelphia Theatre Company is thrilled to work with playwright Martín Zimmerman on his scintillating play. We are looking forward to developing LET ME COUNT THE WAYS to its fullest potential, and giving Martín the artistic support he needs to continue his process," said Garonzik after announcing the Award recipient.

A resident of Chicago, Martín Zimmerman's plays include Seven Spots On The Sun, White Tie Ball, The Making Of A Modern Folk Hero, and The Solid Sand Below, and have been produced or developed at The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, LCT3, Victory Gardens Theater, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, Marin Theatre Company, The Playwrights' Center, Alliance Theatre, A.C.T. (Seattle), PlayPenn, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, American Theater Company, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Chicago Dramatists, Primary Stages, Teatro Vista, Cara Mía Theatre Co, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, Theatre Row, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Borderlands Theater, Source Festival, The Gift, Collaboraction, Red Tape, The University of Texas at Austin, and Duke University.

A recipient of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation, Humanitas Prize New Voices Award, Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, McKnight Advancement Grant, Jerome Fellowship, Carl Djerassi Playwriting Fellowship, National New Play Network's Smith Prize, and a Core Apprenticeship at The Playwrights' Center, Martín has been the Alliance for Latino Theater Artists (ALTA) Artist of the Month, was a member of the 2011-2012 Playwrights' Unit at Goodman Theatre, is a Playwright in Residence at Teatro Vista, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and has been a finalist for the Kendeda Competition, Heideman Award, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He has also been a semi-finalist for The Julie Harris Playwright Award, and the WordBridge Playwrights Lab.

Inspired by the true story of the first modern pornographic publication, Let Me Count The Ways follows a battle between the libertine poet Pietro Aretino and the pious bishop Gian Matteo Giberti over the mind, loins, and soul of Clement VII, the first post-Reformation pope. Also caught in the struggle between Aretino and Giberti is the fate of 16 sexually explicit prints (entitled 'The Ways') that will forever transform the history of print media.

"We are so pleased to honor an adventurous new voice in the third year of this prestigious award. In Martín's play there is the challenge to define art on terms that will shake the very branches of modern society. His style resonates with bright candor, incisive wit, and a romanticism which feels both earthy and deeply provocative. There is enormous promise with this particular piece, and we anticipate great things out of its continued development," said playwright Terrence McNally, whose newest play Mothers and Sons was recently nominated for a Tony Award.

PTC has enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with Terrence McNally, having produced the world premieres of Master Class, Golden Age, Some Men and Unusual Acts of Devotion and the Philadelphia regional premieres of Love!Valour!Compassion!, Lips Together, Teeth Apart and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

PTC@Play is an outgrowth of PTC's annual STAGES program, established in 1986, which also includes commissions, workshops and the Terrence McNally New Play Award. Through STAGES, PTC has developed 90 plays, half of which have gone on to production or publication. Readings that have made it on to the PTC mainstage include the world premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso and Bruce Graham's According to Goldman. Two of PTC's commissions have been After Ashley by Gina Gionfriddo which premiered at the Humana Festival and Bruce Norris' The Pain and the Itch which premiered at Steppenwolf. On the mainstage PTC has produced 38 new plays and musicals. Recent world premieres include Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel, Terrence McNally's Golden Age, Bill Irwin's The Happiness Lecture, and the recent musical, Stars of David.

PTC's mainstage concludes with Colin Quinn in his one-man show Unconstitutional, running June 13-July 6. Unconstitutional tackles 226 years of American constitutional calamities, offering Quinn's satiric take on our national character, from predator drones to the Kardashians.

Founded in 1974 and under the guidance of PTC's Executive Producing Director Sara Garonzik since 1982, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theatre company whose mission is to produce, develop and present entertaining and imaginative contemporary theatre focused on the American experience that both ignites the intellect and touches the soul. By developing new work through commissions, readings and workshops, PTC generates projects that have a national impact and reach broad regional audiences. Priscilla M. Luce serves as the company's President. PTC supports the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists and takes pride in being a home to many nationally recognized artists who have participated in more than 140 world and Philadelphia premieres. PTC has received 46 Barrymore Awards and 155 nominations. In October 2007, PTC opened the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, their home on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts, which has helped contribute to the revitalization of Center City Philadelphia's thriving arts district.

For further information, please call 215-735-7356.

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