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Sundance Institute Introduces the Tennessee Williams Award for Playwrights

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 22, 2012 at 2:39PM

The Sundance Institute announces the Tennessee Williams Award. The first-of-its-kind award will honor emerging playwrights who have participated in the Institute's Theatre Program Labs.
Tennessee Williams
A 31-year old Tennessee Williams at his typewriter in NYC

The Sundance Institute's new Tennessee Williams Award, the first-of-its-kind, will honor emerging playwrights who have participated in the Institute's Theatre Program Labs.

The first recipient of the award will be honored at a benefit for the Theatre Program on April 8 in New York, which will also feature live musical, performances and dinner. For more on the benefit, go here.

Sundance's Keri Putnam states:

“Over the past three decades, our Theatre Program has inspired, encouraged and supported many of the leading theatre artists and storytellers. This event unites our community to celebrate that work and raise funds to support future projects.”

Artistic Director of the Theatre Program Philip Himberg adds:

"Tennessee Williams inhabits much of what Sundance Institute holds dear. The body of his work is timeless and diverse, and his legacy indelible. He was a risk-taker, true to his own creative impulse. In that spirit, we will present the Tennessee Williams Award to an emerging playwright each year with similar ambition, artistic sense and potential.”

The University of the South, beneficiary of the Williams’ estate, gave permission for the award.

This article is related to: News, Sundance Institute

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.