The 2021 Yale Drama Series Prize has been awarded to Rachel Lynett for her play “Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson).” The work was chosen from a number of entries by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel.
Set within the fictional world of a post-second Civil Battle, the play showcases an all-Black state known as Bronx Bay that’s established to be able to defend “Blackness.” As Jules’ new companion, Yael, strikes into city, group members argue over if Yael, who’s Dominican, can keep. Safety issues and safety encompass each Jules and Yael because the utopia of Bronx Bay debates the place the road is on the subject of defining who’s Black and who will get omitted within the course of.
The annual competitors is open to rising playwrights who submit authentic, unpublished, full-length English language performs. After taking a hiatus final 12 months, the Yale Drama Series Prize is celebrating its 14th 12 months as a preeminent playwriting award in cooperation with Yale College Press. It’s solely sponsored by the David Charles Horn Basis. Along with being printed by Yale College Press, the award comes with a prize of $10,000. Whereas the profitable play is usually learn on stage, this 12 months’s studying will happen nearly on a date to be introduced.
Vogel chosen three runner-ups this 12 months, probably the most finalists ever chosen by a choose. The runner-ups embrace Timothy X Atack for “Babel’s Cupid,” Molly Bicks for “Miss Atomic Energy” and Francisco Mendoza for “Machine Studying.”
“This 12 months’s submissions had been extremely gifted and aesthetically numerous, and in fact, at the least ten performs may have been chosen because the recipient of the Yale Drama Series Prize,” Vogel stated. “The profitable play, Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson) by Rachel Lynett, is a taut examination of the influence of racism in a future African American state after the following Civil Battle in America. How do the group members of a fictional “Bronx Bay” defend Blackness? Who will get to outline Blackness in a gated Black group? And in the end, in policing Blackness, what households and relationships are torn asunder on this new world? With a metatheatrical playfulness and a direct inclusion of actors and viewers alike, Rachel Lynette’s play exposes the numerous layers to the notion of race to be able to awaken us.”
Francine Horn, president of the David Charles Horn Basis, stated, “From the primary web page of Rachel’s superb play you acknowledge her distinctive expertise for participating her viewers initially. She imagines a second Civil Battle that’s adopted by a treaty that establishes 4 States in numerous components of the nation which might be completely segregated and restricted to a conformist inhabitants. Rachel creates a Black group known as Bronx Bay. Conserving it pure creates difficulties, conflicts and expulsion. Rachel is a superb author who isn’t shy or quiet about her deep-seeded fears, disappointments and questioning hope. My solely disappointment was that the play ended. I hope at some point her creativeness will create the opposite three states. Thanks, Rachel, for becoming a member of our group of outstanding playwrights which have received the Yale Drama Series competitors.”
Lynett stated, “Once I wrote ‘Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson),’ I wished to interrupt as many ‘guidelines’ as I may. As somebody who’s multiracial and multicultural, I usually really feel by present, and I’m typically breaking the principles and wished to put in writing a play that mirrored that. I’ve additionally spent loads of time enthusiastic about get catharsis in performs about race and the way I may discover a approach to give the actors of colour on stage a approach to reclaim that. It has been extremely humbling to see that this play resonates with others when it seems like an argument inside myself. Yearly, I look to see who has received the Yale Drama Series Prize and instantly add these performs to my studying checklist as a information to the place I believe conversations about theatre and playwriting are headed. It feels extremely surreal to know this 12 months my title is added to the checklist of so many artists who I’ve admired and revered for years.”