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Quintessence Theatre Receives The Philadelphia Award for Social Insight for FLYIN' WEST

The award was given on November 7.

Quintessence Theatre Receives The Philadelphia Award for Social Insight for FLYIN' WEST

On Monday November 7, Quintessence Theatre, Philadelphia's professional classic repertory theatre, was the recipient of the only award given out at Theatre Philadelphia's annual industry celebration. The Philadelphia Award for Social Insight, formerly the Virginia Brown Martin Award, was given to Quintessence's sweeping production of Pearl Cleage's Flyin' West, a play that recounts the challenges faced by a group of Black pioneer women in 1898 who took advantage of the Homestead Act, braved the journey west and settled in the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas. The production was directed by Zuhairah McGill. Quintessence was awarded $25,000 for the production. The runner up was Theatre Exile's production of "The Mother F**ker With the Hat".

To celebrate the award, Quintessence Theatre will present an encore virtual streaming of Flyin' West from November 21 - 27. This three camera recording from a live performance will be available to stream from the comfort of home.

The Philadelphia Award for Social Insight seeks to honor the spirit of Philadelphia by acknowledging a production from any period or genre that demonstrates the ability of theatre to illuminate the way we live and interact with others as we seek to build community. The award recognizes a production that leaves its audience with a deeper appreciation of the people we interact with, and a more focused understanding of the conditions and interactions inherent in our social world. A production that provides a new, or enhanced, understanding about the lives, histories or specific situations of which we may not be familiar or cognizant.

Formerly known as the "Brown Martin Award" the name was changed to more accurately reflect its mission, which is to honor the spirit of Philadelphia by celebrating theater that brings its audiences deeper insight into the remarkable diversity that is humanity. Funded by the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, this special Barrymore Award includes a $25,000 cash prize for the recipient and $2500 for the finalist.


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