Stephen Adly Guirgis, Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Elizabeth Rodriguez Receive Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Awards from Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF)

Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) has announced this year’s recipients of the Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Award. As DGF’s longest-running award, the Kingsley Award honors a mid-career dramatist and stage actress(es) for excellence
in the theater.

This year’s recipients are Award-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis and his longtime collaborators Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Elizabeth Rodriguez.

“I’m deeply honored to receive the Kingsley Award, which I take as an affirmation to keep writing, and specifically, to keep writing for our theater,” Guirgis said upon hearing the news, “and thank you for the opportunity to honor three great actresses who have been so instrumental in my career.”

For the first time in the history of the award, the playwright chose the actress recipients. Guirgis wanted to honor Canavan, Colón-Zayas and Rodriguez to celebrate their work as collaborators, with The LAByrinth Theater Company, and throughout their careers.

The Kingsley Awards were established by playwright Sidney Kingsley, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his play, MEN IN WHITE, and the great actress Madge Evans. Past recipients of the Kingsley Award include August Wilson, Terrence McNally, Audra McDonald, Judith Light, Viola Davis, Lisa Kron, Marsha Norman, and Tony Kushner.

Stephen Adly Guirgis. Photo by Lia Chang
Stephen Adly Guirgis. Photo by Lia Chang

Stephen Adly Guirgis is a proud, long-time member of NYC’s LAByrinth Theater Company. His award winning plays include: HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT, JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN, THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET, IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, THE LITTLE FLOWER OF EAST ORANGE, DEN OF THIEVES, AND DOMINICA THE FAT UGLY HO. He co-created & wrote the Netflix series, “The Get Down.” As an actor, his credits include: Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” Adam McKay’s “VICE,” Alejandro G Inarritu’s “Birman,” Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret,” Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche New York,” Phil Hoffman’s “Jack Goes Boating,” Todd Solondz’s “Palindromes,” Adam Rapp’s “Blackbird,” Jason Chaet’s “Seneca,” a recurring role on Natasha Lyonne’s “Russian Doll” on Netflix, and Adam McKay’s upcoming “Untitled Lakers Project” on HBO. A former HIV Educator & Violence Prevention facilitator, he lives in New York City

Elizabeth Canavan has appeared in 7 of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s plays originated the roles of Rockaway Rosie in HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN (Atlantic Theater/LAByrinth) dir. John Ortiz, Detective Audrey O’Connor in BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY (Atlantic Theater and 2nd Stage) dir. by Austin Pendleton, Justina in LITTLE FLOWER OF EAST ORANGE (The Public Theatre/LAByrinth), Marcia Cook in OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET (Union Square Theater/LAByrinth), Maryjane Hanrahan in JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN (Center Stage NY, East 13th Street Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, The Donmar Wharehouse and The Arts Theatre on the West End) and played Fabiana Aziza Cunningham in THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT (The Public Theatre/LAByrinth), all dir. by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Other theater credits include: PIPELINE by Dominique Morisseau (Lincoln Center). Films include “1 Mile to You,” “Wild and Precious.” Liz’s film, “Father’s Day” was in the Tribeca Film Festival and her plays WHEREVER YOU GO, I GO, and LADIES IN WAITING were in LAByrinth’s Barn Series.

Liza Colón-Zayas is an original member of The LAByrinth Theater Company. She is a Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle, and Hola Award winning actress. She originated many roles in LAB productions including, IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET, LITTLE FLOWER OF EAST ORANGE, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, and HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN, all written by LAB member and Pulitzer-prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis. She can currently be seen on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “In Treatment” Season 4 and the upcoming new series “The Bear” on FX.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, a Labyrinth Theater Company member, is a Tony Award nominee and winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award and Theatre World Award for her performance on Broadway in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ THE MOTHERFU**ER WITH THE HAT. New York theatre credits include Guirgis’ THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT and OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET (both directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman), UNCONDITIONAL and A VIEW FROM 151 ST STREET. Television series regular roles include “Orange is the New Black,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” and “Prime Suspect,” with recurring roles on “Power” and “Shameless.” Films include “Logan,” “The Drop” and “Miami Vice.”

Watch the recipients’ acceptance speeches below.

For more information on the DGF Awards, visit https://dgf.org/grants/awards/.

About DGF
Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) is a national charity that fuels the future of American theater by supporting the writers who create it. DGF fosters playwrights, composers, lyricists, and lyricists at all stages of their careers. DGF sponsors educational programs; provides awards, grants, and stipends; offers free space to create new works; and gives emergency aid to writers in need. In response to the theatrical shutdown due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, DGF has distributed more than $1.5 million in
immediate financial relief to writers during the nation-wide theatrical shutdown. The needs of theater writers during the shutdown also launched the Housing Assistance Grants to aid with rent payments, moving costs, and other housing challenges, as well as the Steven Schwartzberg Grants to provide financial assistance for mental health and wellness services. By supporting and nurturing the creators of today, we protect the stories of tomorrow. For more information on how to support theater writers, visit DGF.org and follow @dgfound.

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