Melissa James Gibson
Melissa James Gibson
Melissa James Gibson, author of the acclaimed Off-Broadway play [sic], is the winner of the 2002 Kesselring Prize.

Annually, the National Arts Club gives the award -- which is accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize -- to a "playwright of promise." This year's Honorable Mention award went to Lydia Diamond, who will receive $2,500. The prizes will be given out on Sunday, November 24 at the National Arts Club in a program that will include a reading of Gibson's new play, Brooklyn Bridge.

The Kesselring Prize was established in 1980 and, since then, has gone to such noted playwrights as Tony Kushner, Nicky Silver, Anna Deavere Smith, David Lindsay-Abaire, Marion McClinton, Jose Rivera, and David Auburn. Auburn was one of the three judges for this year's award, along with playwright John Guare and dramaturg Anne Cattaneo.

The prize is named for the late Joseph Kesselring, author of Arsenic and Old Lace and an esteemed member of the National Arts Club.