Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What to make of this?

I read today that the Wasserstein Prize (a $25,000 award granted annually to an emerging female playwright under the age of 32) "declined to make an award in its fourth year".

I read this with obvious interest, as the award is named for late, famed playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who wrote many of her plays here at the Library. (In fact, if you want to channel Wasserstein's genius, book Study Room 1, in which you can still hear trickling water through the exposed pipes, which according to library lore, was a feature that Wasserstein found comforting).

The Prize panel didn't think that any of the 4 finalists deserved the prize. So how did they become finalists in the first place? According to the rules of the prize, “playwrights were nominated for the prize by leading theatrical practitioners who were particularly knowledgeable about new plays and emerging playwrights". Surely one of these nominated playwrights was worthy.

What do you think? Was the panel right to decline to award the prize?

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