The recipients of the Dramatists Guild Foundation’s 2021 Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Award were announced September 10. This year’s honorees are Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis and his longtime collaborators Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Elizabeth Rodriguez.
DGF’s longest-running award honors a mid-career dramatist and stage actresses for excellence in the theatre. For the first time in the award’s history, the playwright chose the actress recipients. Guirgis wanted to honor the three artists to celebrate their work as collaborators with the LAByrinth Theater Company and throughout their careers.
“I’m deeply honored to receive the Kingsley Award, which I take as an affirmation to keep writing, and specifically, to keep writing for our theatre,” Guirgis said, “and thank you for the opportunity to honor three great actresses who have been so instrumental in my career.”
The Kingsley Awards were established by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sidney Kingsley and actor Madge Evans. Past recipients include August Wilson, Terrence McNally, Audra McDonald, Judith Light, Viola Davis, Lisa Kron, Marsha Norman, and Tony Kushner.
A long-time member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, Guirgis’ plays include Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Motherfucker With The Hat, Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Our Lady of 121st Street, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, The Little Flower of East Orange, Den of Thieves, and Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho. Second Stage will present the Broadway premiere of Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Between Riverside and Crazy during the 2021-2022 season.
Canavan originated numerous roles in Guirgis’ plays, including Rockaway Rosie in Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, Detective Audrey O’Connor in Between Riverside and Crazy, Justina in Little Flower of East Orange, Marcia Cook in Our Lady of 121st Street, and Maryjane Hanrahan in Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train. She also played Fabiana Aziza Cunningham in Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
Colón-Zayas, an original member of Labyrinth Theater Company, is a Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle, and Hola Award-winning actor who has originated roles in Guirgis’ In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Our Lady of 121st Street, Little Flower of East Orange, Between Riverside and Crazy, and Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.
Labyrinth Theater Company member Rodriguez is a Tony nominee and winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award and Theatre World Award for her performance in Guirgis’ The Motherfucker With The Hat. Her other New York theatre credits include Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Our Lady of 121st Street plus Unconditional and A View From 151st Street.
Dramatists Guild Foundation announced several other awards recipients September 9: Brittany K. Allen is the winner of the Georgia Engel Comedy Playwriting Prize, the Thom Thomas Award winner is Avi Amon, and Emily Gardner Xu Hall has been honored with the Stephen Schwartz Award. Paulo K Tiról was also named the recipient of the first-ever Benjamin Indick Award.
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