Candrice Jones, a playwright, poet, and educator from Arkansas, has received the 2023 Kesselring Prize for Playwriting.
Awarded by the National Arts Club (NAC), the honor provides Jones with a two-week residency at the Tilden Mansion and $25,000 to aid in development of her work. Jones was nominated by TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for her play Flex, premiering at Lincoln Center Theater in June.
“We congratulate Candrice Jones on this significant honor from her theatrical peers," says David Doty, president of the NAC. "The Kesselring Prize has earned a reputation for spotting talent early, and this recognition confirms that Jones, already now seeing her work produced in the nation's capital of theatre, is and will be an important, strong playwriting voice."
Establishing in 1980, the Kesselring Prize honors emerging and newly recognized playwrights. Past recipients have included Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Rajiv Joseph, Lucas Hnath, Lauren Yee, and James Ijames, who along with Yee is a member of the Kesselring Prize Advisory Board.
The 2023 Kesselring Prize Jury consisted of 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis; Sonia Fernandez, dramaturg and director of new work at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, D.C.; and playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, a past Kesselring Prize Winner and Guggenheim Fellow who is a professor of theatre studies at the University of California, Berkeley.