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Lauren Yee and Jaclyn Backhaus Awarded 2018 Horton Foote Prizes

The biennial prize is presented to playwrights for excellence in American theater.

Jaclyn Backhaus's India Pale Ale has been awarded a 2018 Horton Foote Prize.
(© Allison Stock)

The 2018 recipients of the biennial Horton Foote Prize have been announced. Named in honor of the late playwright, the prize recognizes excellence in American theater.

Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band has been awarded the 2018 Prize for Outstanding New American Play, presented to a work produced in the 2016-17 or 2017-18 seasons. Jaclyn Backhaus's India Pale Ale has been awarded the 2018 Prize for Promising New American Play, presented to a previously unproduced work.

Yee and Backhaus will each be presented with $25,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter's iconic photograph of Horton Foote, which is found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Their achievements will be celebrated at a private reception on Monday, October 15, at the Lotos Club.

The four judges of the 2018 Horton Foote Prize are two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey, serving as chair; New Georges artistic director and playwright Susan Bernfield (Sizzle Sizzle Fly); Two River Theater artistic director John Dias; and Ensemble Studio Theatre Director of New Play Development and associate director of the EST/Sloan Project Linsay Firman.

Cambodian Rock Band premiered in March at South Coast Repertory and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Manhattan Theatre Club will present the world premiere of India Pale Ale this fall, with previews beginning October 2 ahead of an opening night on October 23 at New York City Center's Stage I.

Previously recipients include Jordan Harrison for Marjorie Prime, Suzan-Lori Parks for Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3), and Lynn Nottage for Ruined.