NEW JEWISH PLAY PRIZES

The Theater J Trish Vradenburg Prize Awards $15,000 to an Established Playwright

The Theater J Patty Abramson Prize Awards $3,000 And a Stage Reading
to an Emerging Woman, Trans, or Non-binary Playwright

Our Inaugural 2020 Winners

The Theater J Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize

Prayer for the French Republic by Joshua Harmon 

Joshua Harmon

Joshua Harmon’s plays include Bad Jews (Roundabout Underground; Roundabout/ Laura Pels; West End), Significant Other (Roundabout; Broadway/Booth Theatre), Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater; West End), and Skintight (Roundabout). His plays have been produced across the country including at The Magic, Geffen Playhouse, Studio Theatre, Theater Wit, Speakeasy, and Actor’s Express, and internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and throughout the U.K. He is a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow and under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout, where he is an Associate Artist. Education: Juilliard.

Finalists:  A Model City by Brooke Berman and Picture of a House in Shaker Heights by David Grimm.

The Theater J Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize

Abomination by Nicole Cox 

Nicole Cox is a writer in DC. Her play, Office of the Speaker, won Best Drama at Capital Fringe 2019, and her poem, “I Want Lou Reed” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s had productions and readings at the 1-Minute Play Festival, Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage, and Citizens Play Festival. Paula Vogel and Dan O’Brien invited Nicole to workshop her play, All Other Nights, at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her work is published in literary magazines including American Book Review, Tablet Magazine, Split Lip, Electric Literature, Briar Cliff Review, and Hanging Loose. Nicole earned her MFA from Emerson College.

Finalists: Belfast Kind by Margot Connolly and Grains of Wheat by Abigail Weaver

Submissions are now closed. They will re-open around January 1, 2021.

Before submitting, please be sure to read all of the FAQs to ensure that your submission meets the eligibility criteria and follows all submission guidelines.
If your submission fails to comply with these requirements, we will not be able to read it. Eligibility criteria and submission guidelines can be downloaded here
:

The Theater J Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize will award $15,000 to an established playwright in honor of a new play that celebrates, explores, and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience.

The Prize is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist, playwright, and Alzheimer’s research advocate Trish Vradenburg, who served on Theater J’s Council for 13 years. Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any professional premiere must have occurred since July 2018. To be eligible for the prize, playwrights must have had at least three productions at LORT, Broadway, or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play can be counted). Submitted plays will be read by a committee of Theater J staff and collaborators.

ABOUT TRISH VRADENBURG
Trish Vradenburg served on Theater J’s Council for 13 years. She was an accomplished playwright, author, comedy writer, journalist, and advocate. Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr says, “Trish’s unforgettable humor and profound commitment to excellence brought light to every corner of our community. She loved excellence in theater, and I am thrilled to honor her memory with this prize to an established playwright.”

The Theater J Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize will award $3,000 and a stage reading to a promising emerging woman, trans, or non-binary playwright in honor of a new play that celebrates, explores, and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience.

The Prize is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist and venture capitalist Patty Abramson. Plays must not have been produced, but a future professional production (outside of the DC metro region) may be scheduled. Eligible playwrights must not have had more than two productions at LORT or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play will be counted) but may have been produced at other professional theaters. Submitted plays will be read by a committee of Theater J staff and collaborators.

ABOUT PATTY ABRAMSON
Patty Abramson co-founded Theater J’s Council. She created the Women’s Growth Capital Fund and co-founded WomensAngels.net, which, together, invested nearly $40 million in businesses owned or led by women. Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr says: “Patty was fiercely loyal, keenly insightful, and always in Theater J’s corner with wisdom and guidance. We are thrilled to honor her legacy with this important prize for an emerging female-identifying artist.”

Frequently Asked Questions

For the purposes of this award, “Jewish” plays are plays in which Jewish identity, history, or culture plays a critical role: if you took it out, the play would change meaningfully.

For the purposes of this award, “established” playwrights are playwrights who have had their work produced on or off Broadway or have had multiple productions at LORT theaters. If a playwright has received at least three full productions of one or more of their plays in LORT or off-Broadway theaters (or any productions on Broadway), they are eligible for the Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize ($15,000). If they have received two or fewer full productions of their plays at LORT or off-Broadway theaters, they are eligible for the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize ($3,000 and a stage reading at Theater J). Multiple productions of the same play will be counted toward the total number of productions in either award.

If you are unsure about whether or not your previous productions make you eligible for the Vradenburg Prize or ineligible for the Abramson Prize, please check them against this list of LORT member theaters and this list of off-Broadway theaters. National tours, productions at international theaters or non-LORT LA theaters do not determine eligibility.

  • For the Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize: the play may be previously produced, provided that its professional world premiere or NYC premiere (whichever is later) was no earlier than July 1, 2018.
  • For the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize: the play may not have received a full professional production, though one may be scheduled at the time of submission. Readings and workshops are allowed.
  • The playwright must be a citizen or resident of the United States.
  • Plays must be full-length plays.
  • One-act plays and plays for children are not eligible for either prize.
  • Musicals are eligible for the Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize, but not the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize.
  • Translations are not eligible for either Prize.
  • Adaptations are eligible provided they diverge substantially from the source material.

The submission deadline for both prizes is April 1, 2020.

There is no limit to the number of submissions per playwright, provided that each play meets the eligibility criteria.

  • For the Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize, we accept submissions from agents and artistic staff of professional theaters. Playwrights may self-submit, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • For the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize, we accept submissions of full scripts from agents and artistic staff of professional theaters. Playwrights may self-submit a synopsis and a 10-page excerpt of their play, and we will notify them if we wish to read more.

You will receive an email confirmation that your script was received within ten days of submitting. All playwrights will receive a form letter with notification prior to award announcements in fall of 2020.

Developmental readings and workshops do not limit a script’s eligibility.

There is no fee for submitting for either Prize.

  • For the Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize ($15,000) we ask that you come to DC (travel and accommodations to be paid for by Theater J) to accept the award in person at Theater J, and acknowledge the prize in future publications of the script.
  • For the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize ($3,000), we ask that you come to DC (travel and accommodations to be paid for by Theater J) and accept the award in person at Theater J, and simultaneously participate in a professional reading of the play. In accepting the Prize, we require that you agree to acknowledge the prize in future publications of the script. The winning play will be considered under exclusive option by Theater J for full production in the DC metropolitan region for the next two seasons.

No, Theater J will not be able to provide feedback about submitted plays.

  • Agents: Agents may submit plays directly to Theater J at LitOffice@theaterj.org with the subject line “Vradenburg Submission” or “Abramson Submission” depending on which Prize they are submitting for. In the body of the email, please confirm that the play you are submitting is either unproduced or (for Vradenburg) was produced no earlier than July 2018. Please attach the script with the playwright’s name and contact information, along with a resume. On the resume, please highlight any productions of the playwright’s plays that have taken place at LORT or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play can be counted) in order to prove eligibility. We accept electronic files only (either Adobe Reader (.pdf) file formats or Microsoft Word (.doc)).

 

  • Artistic Staff of Professional Theaters: Artistic Staff of professional theaters may submit plays directly to Theater J at LitOffice@theaterj.org with the subject line “Vradenburg Submission” or “Abramson Submission” depending on which Prize they are submitting for. In the body of the email, please confirm that the play you are submitting is either unproduced or (for Vradenburg) was produced no earlier than July 2018. Please attach the script with the playwright’s name and contact information, along with a resume. On the resume, please highlight any productions of the playwright’s plays that have taken place at LORT or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play can be counted) in order to prove eligibility. We accept electronic files only (either Adobe Reader (.pdf) file formats or Microsoft Word (.doc)).

 

  • Playwrights: 
    • For the Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize: Playwrights may submit plays directly toTheater J at LitOffice@theaterj.orgwith the subject line “Vradenburg Submission.” In the body of the email, please confirm that the play you are submitting is either unproduced or was produced no earlier than July 2018. Please attach the script with your name and contact information, along with a resume that demonstrates eligibility for the Prize. On your resume, please highlight any productions of your plays that have taken place at LORT or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play can be counted) in order to prove eligibility. We accept electronic files only (either Adobe Reader (.pdf) file formats or Microsoft Word (.doc)).
    • For the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize:Playwrights may submit one sample of ten consecutive pages, a one-page synopsis, and a resume. In the body of the email, please confirm that the play you are submitting has not yet had any professional productions. Please only send 10 pages; do not send a full script with a note telling us where your favorite 10 pages are. On your resume, please highlight any productions of your plays that have taken place at LORT or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play can be counted) in order to prove eligibility. If your script is advanced to the second phase of the Prize adjudication, you will receive an email asking for a full script. We accept electronic files only (either Adobe Reader (.pdf) file formats or Microsoft Word (.doc)).

Please be sure to read through these FAQs first. If your question still is not answered, you may write to LitOffice@theaterj.org