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2008 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award Winner Announced

Gees_bend The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announces that Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder is the winner of its 2008 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. The award is based on her career, but is focused on her 2007 play Gee's Bend, which depicts the turbulent history of African-Americans in the 20th century by focusing on a single family in the real community of Gee's Bend, Alabama.

The Osborn Award, established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn, is designed to recognize the work of an author who has not yet achieved national stature (e.g. has not had a significant New York production, been staged in more than a few regional theatres, or received other major national awards). The award includes a $1,000 prize and honorees are recognized in The Best Plays Theatre Yearbook.

Gee's Bend was commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Southern Writers Project, with a 2006 reading in the Project's Festival of New Plays and a fully-staged premiere in January 2007 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. It has since toured the state and received productions across the country, with more scheduled for this year.

The award will be presented tomorrow, March 29 at the Humana Festival of New Plays in Louisville, KY.

-- Daniel Lehman

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