Laura Pels Theater

View Larger Map

The Laura Pels Foundation Awards for Drama, commonly referred to as the PEN/Laura Pels Award, annually recognizes two American playwrights. A medal is given to a designated "grand master" American dramatist, in recognition of their work, and a stipend of $7,500 (in 2005) is presented to a "new voice", an American playwright whose literary and artistic merit is evident in their plays. For instance:
2005, the Master American Dramatist was Wallace Shawn. Dael Orlandersmith was awarded with a mid-career award.
The Master American Dramatist Award is not open to nominations but is chosen by the judges panel. The Mid-Career Laura Pels Theater Award is open to peer nominations (i.e., not by the playwrights themselves), but the playwrights must meet certain criteria: they must be American and write in English; they can be from regional theaters as long as they have had two full-length productions mounted under either open- or limited-run contracts and in theaters with at least 299 seats. Specifically excluded are playwrights who write one-acts, musical-books, or translations.
Past Laura Pels Foundation winners:
1998: Arthur Miller and Richard Greenberg
1999: Edward Albee and Paula Vogel
2000: Horton Foote and Suzan-Lori Parks
2001: Richard Foreman and Charles L. Mee
2002: Maria Irene Fornes and Tony Kushner
2003: John Guare and Craig Lucas
2004: Lanford Wilson and Lynn Nottage
2005: Wallace Shawn and Dael Orlandersmith
2006: Adrienne Kennedy and Stephen Adly Guirgis
2007: A.R. Gurney and Naomi Iizuka
2008: Richard Nelson and Sarah Ruhl
2009 Nilo Cruz and Sam Shepard
2010 David Mamet and Theresa Rebeck