Catherine Trieschmann, a Kansas-based playwright whose work has been produced globally at venues ranging from South Coast Repertory of Orange County, the Bush Theatre of London, and the New Theatre of Sydney, is the winner of the 2012 William Inge Theatre Festival's Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award.
Trieschmann will be presented with the award at the 31st Annual Inge Festival April 18-21 in Independence, Kansas, at Independence Community College.
The award, bestowed for the 20th time, is named for the late Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., acclaimed theater writer and scholar. Guernsey was a longtime attendee of the William Inge Theatre Festival and an advocate of new plays. The Inge Festival is named for the late William Inge, an Independence native who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama ("Picnic") and Oscar for Best Screenplay ("Splendor in the Grass.")
"What an incredible treat to discover a truly great American writer practically in our own backyard," said Inge Center Artistic Director Peter Ellenstein. ""Her work is thought-provoking, moving, and funny with richly drawn characters struggling with issues that affect us all in a deeply human way."
Trieschmann will receive the New Voices Award, an honorarium, and a concert reading of one of her new plays at the Inge Festival on Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m.
The Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award recipient is selected by a panel comprised of previous New Voices winners and other theatre professionals. The award recognizes outstanding early and mid-career playwrights, whose talent promises to positively impact the future of the theater.
"In twenty years this award has grown in reputation and its winners and nominees are populating the American stage from coast to coast," said Ellenstein.
In a just a few examples, the 1997 Otis Guernsey New Voices winner Joe DiPietro won the Tony for best book for his musical "Memphis" in 2010. The 1998 winner David Ives has since written numerous successful plays, including three on Broadway in the span of 2007-10: his adaptions of the musicals "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" and "Finian's Rainbow" and the comedy "Is He Dead?"
Most recently, the 2010 winner of the Otis Guernsey New Voices winner was Katori Hall, when the Inge Festival presented a reading of Hall's play "The Mountaintop." In less than 18 months after presentation in Independence, the "The Mountaintop" opened on Broadway in October of 2011, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.
Catherine Trieschmann now adds her name to the list of illustrious playwrights. Trieschmann's plays include "The Bridegroom of Blowing Rock" (Weissberger Award), "crooked," "The World of Others," "Hot Georgia Sunday," "Small and Selfish Creatures," and "How the World Began" The latter concluded a run at the South Coast Rep of California in October of 2011.
Additionally, her work has been produced Off-Broadway at the Women's Project, Bush Theatre (London), the New Theatre (Sydney), American Theatre Company (Chicago), Florida Stage, the Summer Play Festival, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Theatre in the Square, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the New York International Fringe Festival.
Trieschmann has received commissions from South Coast Repertory Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. Her work is published by Samuel French, Methuen, and Smith & Kraus, as well as featured in The Best New Playwrights of 2009.
She also wrote the screenplay for the film "Angel's Crest," which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
Originally from Athens, Georgia, she currently resides in a small town in western Kansas.
The Inge Festival culminates on Saturday, April 21st with a multi-media Tribute to Tony winning dramatist David Henry Hwang.
Tickets will be available on line starting March 1st at www.ingecenter.org or by calling (800) 842-6063 ext. 5835.
The William Inge Center for the Arts is a participant in the New Generations Program, funded by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American theatre.
Also, this program is presented in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art."
Additional supporter include the William Inge Festival Foundation, and Independence Community College.
Previous Otis Guernsey New Voices in American Theatre Award Winners
at the William Inge Theatre Festival
1993 Jason Milligan
1994 Catherine Butterfield
1995 Mary Hanes
1996 Brian Burgess Clark
1997 Joe DiPietro
1998 David Ives
1999 David Hirson
2000 James Still
2001 Mark St. Germain
2002 Dana Yeaton
2003 Theresa Rebeck
2004 Mary Portser
2005 Lynne Kaufman
2006 Melanie Marnich
2007 J.T. Rogers
2008 Adam Bock
2009 Carlos Murillo
2010 Katori Hall
2011 Dael Orlandersmith
2012 Catherine Trieschmann