After much deliberation and over a thousand submissions, Beautiful Province by playwright Clarence Coo has been selected as the 2012 winner of the Yale Drama Series Award. For winning this prestigious award, Coo will receive the $10,000 David C. Horn Prize, and his play will be published Yale University Press next year in its pioneering Yale Drama Series.
Beautiful Province, the story of a fifteen year old boy’s road trip across Canada with his high school teacher, was selected from a huge number of submissions by Tony-winning playwright John Guare, and will receive a staged reading on 18 September at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven.
John Guare (whose plays incude The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation) was appointed to succeed David Hare as the judge for the Yale Drama Series. Discussing Coo’s winning entry he said:
“We received over a thousand entries this year… My readers and I found Beautiful Province by Clarence Coo to be the most successfully realized play. I admired it for its bold theatricality, its daring, its ambitious theme, its consistent tone, its heightened language. The contest searches for a brave new voice in the English-speaking world. We found this year’s winner in Clarence Coo’s Beautiful Province.”
Beautiful Province was developed at the Inkwell’s Inkubator Series and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Coo’s other work has been produced or developed at the New York International Fringe Festival, Mu Performing Arts, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Round House Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, the Young Playwrights Festival and the Kennedy Center. He was an Allen Lee Hughes Fellow at Arena Stage, a recipient of the Larry Neal Writers’ Award and a social media writer for the 2010 and 2011 Tony Awards. He received his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University where he studied under Charles Mee, and is currently the program administrator of the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia’s School of the Arts.
The competition is open to original, unpublished and unproduced full-length English plays. Last year’s winner was Shannon Murdoch’s New Light Shine, a haunting tale of lost innocence and murder amongst four almost-adults who must deal with the tangled consequences of years of silence. Murdoch’s play is being published by Yale in its Autumn/Winter 2012 season (to be announced soon).
Previous winners of the award include John Austin Connolly’s The Boys from Siam (2007), Neil Wechsler’s Grenadine (2008) and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Lidless (2009) which was also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. All three of these plays, as well as the other winners from over the years, can be found in the Yale Drama Series and are available to buy from Yale University Press.
Visit the DC Horn Foundation website for more information about next year’s award and to read the terms and conditions.
Read more about Shannon Murdock, last year’s winner.
View the full Yale Drama Series on the Yale London website.