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Kia Corthron, a playwright of lyrical language and hard subjects who has been associated with the Children's Theatre and Penumbra in the Twin Cities, has won a Windham Campbell Prize, Yale University announced on Friday.
The honor, administered by the university, comes with a $150,000 purse.
Corthron, a writer who uses fierce and lyrical language to tackle tough subjects, is best known for "Breath, Boom," "The Venus de Milo is Armed" and "Splash Hatch on the E Going Down," a play about environmental degradation.
She also has written for the television shows "The Wire" and "The Jury."
Corthron wrote "Snapshot Silhouettes" for the Children's Theatre, a drama about tensions between African-American and Somali students that played in 2004.
Corthron also has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater.
The playwright, who is American, is one of eight writers named as winners of the Windham Campbell Prize, which awarded a total of $1.2 million Friday.
The others are dramatists Sam Holcroft of Britain and Noëlle Janaczewska of Australia; fiction writers Nadeem Aslam of Pakistan, Jim Crace of the United Kingdom and Aminatta Forna of Sierra Leone; and nonfiction writers Pankaj Mishra of India and John Vaillant, who is Canadian-American.
There were no lights on in the house and nary a soul walking up the steps. A handwritten note on the door confirmed our suspicions: the performance had been canceled because of "Unforeseen Circumstances." Oh well, I hadn't had the pleasure of driving on St. Paul's city streets this winter so the trip was well worth the disappointment.
Gremlin's artistic director, Peter Hansen, said Friday morning that Gremlin found out that the "occupancy and the legal status of the Blue house were not what we believed them to be when we rented the facility from St. Clement's."
Hansen said several days of negotiations with the city of St. Paul and St. Clement's failed to resolve the problem. Gremlin has suspended all ticket sales for the production, which is still targeted to bow at the Tennessee Williams Festival next fall in Provincetown, Mass. Jef Hall-Flavin directed the short late-career piece.
Gremlin is still mulling options for a Twin Cities production before that time. Hansen said in an email Friday morning that "I have never experienced anything like this." Gotta feel sorry Peter, one of the truly nice guys in Twin Cities theater. He's currently performing as C.S. Lewis in "Freud's Last Session" at the Guthrie studio. It might have been tough Thursday night keeping focused on that while Gremlin had to cancel its opening. Just to make absolutely clear, this event has no impact on the Guthrie production.
Hatcher wrote the play about a school project when he was 11 years in Steubenville, Ohio. He adapted, directed and performed Shakespeare’s drama for his fifth-grade class – and it turned out to be his first hit. He attempts to recapture the heady and naïve optimism of youth in the show.
Hatcher has had a few other successes since. Winner of the 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award, he has contributed dozens of plays to the Twin Cities theater community (well, not contributed as in “gave;” he got paid for the work). He’s also written a few screenplays, including “Casanova” and “The Duchess.”
The one-man show is Hatcher retelling the memories of the event that launched him on his career.
Attention Tom Hiddleston fans! If you can't wait for Loki's next appearance in the Marvel universe, maybe some live theater will tide you over. He stars as the noble yet reckless general fighting a private war between personal integrity and popular acclaim in the National Theatre Live production of Shakespeare's Roman epic "Coriolanus." The performance, recorded live in late January, shows at 11:00am on Sunday, March 9th at the Edina Cinema.
The Guthrie Theater is in the planning stages of a possible multi-play festival around the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, sources have told the Star Tribune. Nottage would be the third playwright to be so honored and the first playwright who is female or a person of color.
“We can’t confirm anything now; things are still moving around,” said Trish Santini, director of external relations at the Guthrie.
However, in a statement Thursday, Guthrie director Joe Dowling did say the theater has commissioned a play from Nottage with the support of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, and "we are in conversations with Ms. Nottage and her representatives regarding the timing of a future production and the scope of our commitment."
The Guthrie will announce its 2014-15 season April 10.
Nottage is a highly respected Yale-educated playwright who won the 2009 Pulitzer for “Ruined.” That drama is set in an African warzone and centers on the lives of women who find sanctuary in a brothel. It was memorably produced in fall 2009 at Mixed Blood Theatre.
Nottage’s latest play is “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” a comedy about the challenges of a fictional black actress in the 1930s. Sanaa Lathan was one of the stars of the New York premiere.
Nottage is completing a new drama, “Reading Play,” whose premiere at the Guthrie in fall 2015 was previously announced. That play is drawn from research into the lives of people in Reading, Penn., one of the nation’s poorest cities. The project won a coveted $50,000 Joyce Award.
The Guthrie produced Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel” in fall 2005. None of her other works have been seen in the Twin Cities. She also wrote “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine,” a 2004 work about the social fall of a professional woman whose husband has taken her money.
In 2009, the Guthrie launched its festival idea with a celebration of Tony Kushner’s work, including the premiere of “The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.” A festival of work by British playwright Christopher Hampton followed in 2012.
A Nottage festival would celebrate one of the nation’s leading playwrights even as it helps the Guthrie to address issues of gender and ethnic diversity that have been raised in past seasons.
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