Francis Jue, Ned Eisenberg, Jennifer Lim, Daniel K. Isaac, Jeena Yi, Joe Ngo and Tobias C. Wong Set for Readings at Lauren Yee’s Kesselring Prize Ceremony on November 5

Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren

Actors Francis Jue, Ned Eisenberg, Jennifer Lim, Daniel K. Isaac, Jeena Yi, Joe Ngo and Tobias C. Wong are set for a reading of plays by Lauren Yee when the rising young playwright receives the 2017 Kesselring Prize on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 4 pm at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). Ms. Yee earned the Kesselring for her play THE GREAT LEAP, to be produced this season by Denver Center, Seattle Rep and Atlantic Theater Company. The Prize includes a $25,000 award and the opportunity for Ms. Yee to reside for two weeks in the historic clubhouse of the National Arts Club in order to develop her work.

David Henry Hwang - Photo by Lia Chang, and Lauren Yee
David Henry Hwang – Photo by Lia Chang, and Lauren Yee

Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will present Ms. Yee with the prize at an awards ceremony at the National Arts Club on Sunday, November 5 at 4 p.m. The evening will include readings of select scenes from Ms. Yee’s plays. A gala reception in the NAC parlors and dining room follows the awards presentation. For further information and to reserve seat for the awards ceremony and readings, visit

The readings will feature selections from Yee’s plays KING OF THE YEES, THE GREAT LEAP and CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND.

Also present at the awards presentation as a guest speaker on Sunday: actress Regina Taylor.

Established in 1980 by Charlotte Kesselring – widow of playwright Joseph Kesselring – to honor and support young writers who are not as yet nationally recognized, and provide them with an honorarium and indirect support towards development of their work. Past recipients include Lucas Hnath (now on Broadway with A DOLL’S HOUSE PART 2), Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Nicky Silver and last year’s honoree, Lindsey Ferrentino, whose play UGLY LIES THE BONE was produced this year at the National Theatre in London.

Each year, the National Arts Club invites theaters across the country to nominate an emerging playwright for the Kesselring Prize who is poised for a higher national profile through his or her growing body-of-work. Atlantic Theater Company nominated Ms. Yee.

Her previous works include IN A WORD, a finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg Award; THE HATMAKER’S WIFE, which was an Outer Critics Circle nominee for its John Gassner Award for best play by a new American playwright; and KING OF THE YEES, which premiered last season at The Goodman Theatre.

The 2017 Kesselring Prize Jury that selected Ms. Yee consisted of: famed playwright John Guare; Dramaturg of Lincoln Center Theater, Anne Cattaneo; and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The Kesselring Prize Artistic Director is Michael Parva.

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Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and

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