Jocelyn Bioh, Kirsten Childs and Charles Busch To Receive Dramatists Guild Awards on July 28

The Dramatists Guild of America will present their annual awards at their national conference on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at The Hilton Midtown in New York.

This year’s awards go to Jocelyn Bioh, recipient of the Hull-Warriner Award for her play School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play; Kirsten Childs, recipient of the Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition for her score to Bella: An American Tall Tale; Charles Busch, recipient of the Flora Roberts Award. At the awards presentation, they will join James Anthony Tyler, the previously-announced recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award; the recipients of the Lanford Wilson Award and the DLDF Defender Award will be announced at a later date.

The Hull-Warriner Award is the only award given by dramatists to dramatists; it is presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to an author or team of authors in recognition of their play dealing with controversial subjects involving the fields of political, religious, or social mores of the times. Previous winners include Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Annie Baker, August Wilson, Stephen Karam, Marsha Norman and Dael Orlandersmith.

Jocelyn Bioh
Jocelyn Bioh

Jocelyn Bioh is a Ghanaian-American writer/performer from New York City. Her plays include 2015 Kilroys’ List selection Nollywood Dreams, which was presented in the spring of 2017 as part of the Cherry Lane Mentor Project; School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play (Lortel Award, OCC John Gassner Award, Drama Desk nomination, Drama League nomination, Kilroys’ List 2016, produced at MCC Theater in 2017 and returning for an encore run in October, 2018), Happiness and Joe (2017), African Americans (Ruby Prize Finalist 2011), Goddess (book writer), and The Ladykiller’s Love Story, of which she conceived the story and wrote the libretto with music/lyrics by Cee Lo Green. She is a commissioned playwright with MTC, Atlantic Theater Company, and Williamstown Theater Festival (2018 Lilly Award) and is a Resident Playwright at Lincoln Center and is a Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence with MCC Theater for 2017/18. Jocelyn received a B.A in English/Theatre from The Ohio State University and the MFA in Playwriting.

Myra Lucretia Taylor, Palmer Hefferan, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Jocelyn Bioh, Zainab Jah and Dede Ayite at the Drama Desk Awards luncheon at Friedmans inside The Hotel Edison in New York on May 9, 2018. Photo: Facebook
Myra Lucretia Taylor, Palmer Hefferan, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Jocelyn Bioh, Zainab Jah and Dede Ayite at the Drama Desk Awards luncheon at Friedmans inside The Hotel Edison in New York on May 9, 2018. Photo: Facebook

The Frederick Loewe Award, given by the Frederick Loewe Foundation and presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a composer, recognizes achievement in a theatrical score presented in New York during the previous theatrical season. Past winners include Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Jeanine Tesori, Amanda Green & Trey Anastasio, Alan Menken, Michael John LaChiusa, Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, John Kander, Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Scott Frankel.

Kirsten Childs. Photo by Zack DeZon
Kirsten Childs. Photo by Zack DeZon

Kirsten Childs is the composer/lyricist/librettist of Bella: An American Tall Tale, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Miracle Brothers, Fly(with Rajiv Joseph and Bill Sherman), and Funked Up Fairy Tales. For her work she has received Obie, Kleban, Larson, Richard Rodgers, Audelco, and Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla awards, as well as Lortel and Drama Desk nominations. She is a professor in NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, a member of both the Dramatists Guild Council and the Dramatists Guild Foundation, and is proud to be a mentor in Theatre Development Fund’s Open Doors program.

The company of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE. Photo by Joan Marcus
The company of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Flora Roberts Award, administered by the Dramatists Guild Foundation, is presented to a dramatist in recognition of distinguished work in the theatre and to encourage the continuation of that work. Previous recipients include Mac Wellman, Dael Orlandersmith, Charles Fuller, Arthur Kopit, Philip Kan Gotanda, Michael Weller, Polly Pen, Craig Lucas, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, and Tina Howe.

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Confession of Lily Dare, Cleopatra, The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which ran five years and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won Mr. Busch the Outer Circle Critics John Gassner Award and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die, the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, Mr. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright. He is also the subject of the documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch.

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