The Idea Awards 2022 for theater

The 2022 Idea Awards winners for theater – playwright Deb Margolin (Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award winner), playwright Ankita Raturi (Ollie New Play Award winner), musical theater writers John-Michael Lyles and Daniel Alexander Jones (Vivace Musical Theater Award winners); Participants include – Bruce Ostler (VP and Board Member of the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation), Sheilah Rae (VP and Board Member of the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation), Jackie Sibblies Drury ( Pulitzer Winning Playwright), Emily Morse (Artistic Director, New Dramatists and BAPR Foundation Board Member) Sarah Ruhl (MacArthur Fellow, Playwright), Shanta Thake (Artistic Director, Lincoln Center), Meiyin Wang (Production Manager , Perelman Arts Center), Alexis Williams (Associate Artistic Director of The Playwrights Realm and Bret Adams and member of the advisory board of the Paul Reisch Foundation).

The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2022 Idea Awards for Theatre; three categories of grants awarded to adventurous new voices in playwriting and musical theatre, as well as visionary playwrights who have inspired and paved the way before them. The 2022 Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award will be presented to Deb Margolin (Imagine Madoff, Three seconds in the key). Honoring accomplished playwrights who have created significant, idea-driven works throughout their careers, the Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award is presented with a $25,000 prize to the recipient. Ankita Raturi is the recipient of this year’s Ollie New Play Award, and two Vivace Musical Theater Awards will go to John-Michael Lyles and Daniel Alexander Jones. Recognizing emerging talent and original works with ambitious theatrical ideas, both awards are presented to each winner with a $25,000 prize. Each of the four artists will also receive a unique hand-carved stone statuette by Bruce Ostler.

DEB MARGOLIN (2022 Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award Winner) is a playwright, actress and founding member of the Split Britches Theater Company. She is the author of numerous plays, including Imagining Madoff (nominated, Helen Hayes/Charles Macarthur Award for Outstanding New Play), Three Seconds in the Key (Prix Kesselring), Turquoise, Bringing the Fishermen Home and That Old Perplexity (Keen Company commission) as well as 11 solo performance pieces she has toured across the United States. Among them, 8 Stops, a comedy about the grief of endless compassion, which takes a long, humorous and tender look at motherhood, the suburbs, the fear of death and the heredity of ideas. His most recent multi-character play, Insurrection, finds an old man near the precipice of death as he suffers the torment of horror he remembers at the hands of Joseph McCarthy. Deb has been artist-in-residence at Tulane, Hampshire College, NYU, USC and many more. OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance, Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award, NEA Grant, NJSCA Fellow, Edwin Booth Award, Tanne Foundation Award, and Richard H. Broadhead Award for teaching excellence at Yale University, where she is a practicing professor in the undergraduate theater and performance studies program. She is a proud New Dramatists alumnus and lives in New Jersey, which she denies.

ANKITA RATURI (winner of the Ollie New Play Award 2022) [she/her] is a bisexual, bicultural, and bilingual writer currently living in Southern California. She grew up in and around New Delhi, Jakarta and Washington DC, and spent many years living and working in New York. Ankita writes in Hindi/Urdu and English about the impossibilities of language, living between cultural identities, and the lingering legacies of colonialism. His plays are often populated by strange characters navigating new and unfamiliar territory. His audio piece, Backwaters, is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts as part of the 2021 Wagner New Play Festival. Commissions: Artists in Play and American Friends of Asia Pacific Theater, EST/Sloan, Cygnet Finish Line . Development of new plays: UCSD, NYU, Playwrights Realm, Artists at Play, The COOP, Atlantic Pacific Theatre, Theater Masters, Hypokrit Theater Company, New York Shakespeare Exchange, Pete’s Candy Store, Natyabharati. Work designed with Charlotte Murray: Fresh Ground Pepper, Corkscrew Theater Festival, Dixon Place. BFA in Drama: NYU/Tisch. Master’s Candidate in Playwriting: UCSD (recipient of the Friends of the International Center Research Fellowship). Instagram: @ankitawrites

JOHN-MICHAEL LYLES (2022 Vivace Musical Theater Award winner) is a Harlem-based, Texas-raised multi-hyphenate creator. He was selected to participate in the Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellows class of 21, the Musical Theater Factory’s 2nd MAKERS cohort, and the 2021 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. He wrote additional music for the second stage production of We’ re Gonna Die by Young Jean Lee and theme music by The Great Gay Dadcast. He is currently co-writing a book, music and lyrics with David Gomez for Shoot for the Moon, a new musical. He is currently developing a new, untitled musical with incredible support from the 5th Avenue Theater’s “First Draft: Raise Your Voice” commissioning program. As an actor, he is currently making his Broadway debut in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, A Strange Loop.

DANIEL ALEXANDER JONES (winner of the 2022 Vivace Musical Theater Award) is hailed by audiences, colleagues and critics alike as a revolutionary and visionary artist. Over 25 years in his distinctive interdisciplinary practice, Jones skillfully weaves performance art, theater, music, writing and teaching into a wild body of work. His pieces include: www.aten.life, which was created as a digital music, video and interactive site (CalArts Center for New Performance & New York Live Arts); Black Light (public theatre); Duat (representing Soho); and Phoenix Fabrik (Pillsbury House Theatre). 53rd State Press recently published Love Like Light, a collection of 7 works from across Jones’ career, including introductory essays by various collaborators and colleagues; as well as the book Particle & Wave, a contextualized conversation with Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs about Jones’ practice. Daniel was honored as the 2021 PEN America/Laura Pels Foundation Laureate in Drama, and was praised for “honing his own dramaturgy based on the traditions of African studies, performance studies, queer theory, and mysticism, challenging established traditions while creating space for audiences to wonder what theater is and who it is for. Jones was a Guggenheim Fellow, Doris Duke Artist, USA Artist Fellow, Creative Capital Grantee, and has been commissioned by McCarter Theater and Public Theater. He taught at the university for 20 years, most recently as a full professor at Fordham University. Daniel lives in Los Angeles, where he is a producer artist for the Center for New Performance at CalArts, and is in residence at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.

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