Five new plays, a number of which played on and Off-Broadway last season, are in the running to win the 2018 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History presented by Columbia Universities. The selected play will be announced in February and will be awarded $100,000.
The five finalists are Ayad Akhtar’s Broadway Wall Street drama Junk; Kirsten Childs’ western musical adventure Bella: An American Tall Tale, which played Off-Broadway last year; Lisa Loomer’s play about the historic Roe vs. Wade case, Roe; Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees; and Dominique Morisseau’s acclaimed Skeleton Crew, which marks the second time the playwright has been nominated for the prize.
The Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama is given annually to a new play or musical that uses theatre to explore America’s past and contribute meaningfully to the issues of our day.
Previous winners of the prize include Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music in 2017, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton in 2016, and Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars in 2015. Morisseau won the award for her play Detroit ’67 in 2014.
The 2018 finalists were selected through nominations from a group of theatre professionals from across the country. The selection jury will meet next month to decide on a recipient.
Check out highlights from Junk on Broadway below: