The Horton Foote Prizes, named in honor of the legendary writer, are presented biennially and are awarded for excellence in American theater. Parks and O'Brien will be awarded at a private reception Oct. 6 and according to press notes, "will be presented with $15,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote which is found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C."
O’Brien and Parks were nominated by Portland Center Stage and The Public Theater, respectively.
O'Brien's The Body of an American had its world premiere at Portland Center Stage in 2012. Here's how it's billed, "In the play, we are taken to Mogadishu in 1993. Paul Watson is a Canadian photojournalist who is about to take a picture that will win him the Pulitzer Prize. At Princeton in 2013, American writer Dan O’Brien is struggling to finish his play about ghosts. Both men live worlds apart but a chance encounter over the airwaves sparks an extraordinary friendship that sees them journey from one of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul. Flying from Kabul to the Canadian High Arctic, The Body Of An American is an exhilarating new form of documentary drama that splices the dialogue with actual recordings and photographs by Paul Watson, placing these two men’s battles – both public and private – against a backdrop of some of the world’s most iconic images of war."
The world premiere of Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) at The Public Theater is presented in association with American Repertory Theater, and will begin previews Oct. 14 at The Public Theater’s Anspacher Theater before moving to the American Repertory Theater’s Loeb Drama Center with performances beginning Jan. 23. Here's how it's billed, "Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) is a devastatingly beautiful, dramatic work set over the course of the Civil War and comprised of three plays presented in a single performance. In Part 1, Hero, a slave who is accustomed to his master’s lies, must decide whether to join him on the Confederate battlefield in exchange for a promise of freedom. Part 2 follows Hero and the Colonel as they lead a captured Union solider toward the Confederate lines as the cannons approach. Finally, in Part 3, the loved ones Hero left behind question whether to escape or wait for his return - only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost."