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Julia Jarcho Wins 2018 Mark O'Donnell Prize

The honor is named for the coauthor of the musical Hairspray.

Steve O'Donnell, prize winner Julia Jarcho, and Playwrights Horizons artistic director Tim Sanford.
(© Jay Brady Photography)

The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons have announced that playwright Julia Jarcho is the 2018 recipient of the Mark O'Donnell Prize, an annual award presented to an emerging theater artist in recognition of their talent and promise.

The award includes a cash prize of $15,000, use of the Mark O'Donnell Theater at the Actors Fund Arts Center for one week to develop a reading of a new work, as well as counseling from the Actors Fund on two of the major challenges faced by emerging artists: how to apply for affordable housing and obtaining health insurance. The Mark O'Donnell Prize is funded by the Actors Fund, and is made possible by a gift from Stephen O'Donnell in memory of his brother Mark.

Jarcho is a playwright and director from New York City with the company Minor Theater. Her plays include The Terrifying (Abrons Arts Center 2017), Every Angel Is Brutal (Clubbed Thumb 2016), Nomads (Incubator 2014), the Obie-winning Grimly Handsome (Incubator 2013), Dreamless Land (New York City Players/Abrons 2011), and American Treasure (13P 2009).

O'Donnell achieved commercial success when he cowrote the book of the musical Hairspray, based on the John Waters film, with Thomas Meehan. The production earned the pair the 2003 Tony Award and a celebrated seven-year run on Broadway, followed by the 2007 musical film adaptation. As previously announced, Stephen O'Donnell has donated his late twin brother Mark O'Donnell's royalties as cowriter of the Broadway musical Hairspray in perpetuity to the Actors Fund, in support of their addiction and recovery services to members of the entertainment and performing arts community.

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