The late Otis L. Guernsey, Jr. was an acclaimed theater writer and scholar who was also an advocate for, and frequent attendee of, the William Inge Theater Festival. He is perhaps best know as editor, for 36 years, of the annual “Best Plays” volumes. His selection of the Best Ten Plays for each season was highly anticipated and widely circulated. As Mr. Guernsey was an influential film and theater critic and journalist, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2000. Because Mr. Guernsey was a champion of new plays and was instrumental in creating the Inge Festival’s New Voices Award, the Inge Festival added his name to the New Voices in the American Theater Award as an appreciation for his contribution to the theater and to new works.
Gina Femia Named 2022 New Voices Award Winner
Playwright Gina Femia is the recipient of the 2022 William Inge Theatre Festival’s Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award, which recognizes substantial early contributions to the contemporary American stage.
Femia will be presented with the New Voices Award at the 39th Inge Festival, spring 2022, at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. Femia will join Honoree Lynn Nottage as the Inge Festival celebrates outstanding playwriting in the hometown of the late William Inge, the Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning writer. William Inge won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (Picnic) and Oscar for Best Screenplay (Splendor in the Grass). The Inge Festival is designated by the state legislature as the Official Theater Festival of Kansas.
Femia will have work of her own presented as a reading during the festival.
Past New Voices Award Winners and Achievements
Kara Lee Corthron (2019)
- Welcome to Fear City at KC Rep in 2019.
- Listen for the Light at Know Theatre of Cincinnati
- AliceGraceAnon at New Georges in New York
- She is also an active writer in other mediums, including the young adult novel The Truth of Right Now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Puls, and Daughters of Jubilation, coming in 2020.
- For television, she currently writes for the Netflix drama You.
Lauren Gunderson (2017)
- Her play Miss Bennett was the among the top ten plays most produced by professional theaters in 2017.
- The year 2017-18 saw her on the list of the 20 most produced playwrights for the third straight year on professional stages.
Jen Silverman (2015)
- Jen is selected as a Yearlong Playwright of New York (PoNY) residency at the Lark.
- Her play The Moors was read at the Inge Festival and has since been produced at Yale Rep and additional theaters.
- All the Roads Home received its world premiere in 2017 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
Mat Smart (2014)
- He is currently working on The Royal Society of Antarctica(readings at Primary Stages, the Playwrights’ Center and The New Harmony Project).
- He has been commissioned by South Coast Rep and Huntington.
- He has received two Jerome Fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant
Samuel D. Hunter (2013)
- His play The Whale won the 2013 Drama Desk Award, 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play
- His newest plays Othe Few, Reset, And A Great Wilderness, the latter of which was read at the 2013 Inge Festival, have had their premiers during the 2013-14 theater season
Catherine Trieschmann (2012)
- Her play How The World Began about the creation/evolution debate in Kansas, was produced at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Oregon Contemporary Theater, and Boulder Theater Ensemble.
- Her play The Most Deserving, which was read at the 2012 Inge Festival, premiered at the Denver Theater Center
Dael Orlandersmith (2011)
- Horsedreams, presented at the Inge Festival in 2011, was produced at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, NY
- Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter
- Performed in her one-woman play Stoop Stories at the Mark Taper Forum, Studio Theatre Washington, and others.
- Wrote and appeared in Yellowman, commissioned by and premiered at the McCarter Theatre and, later, the Manhattan Theatre Club
Katori Hall (2010)
- Winner of the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play Hurt Village
- Her Olivier Award-winning play The Mountaintop played on Broadway Fall 2011
- Her play Children Of Killers, was commissioned by the National Theatre Connections program
Carlos Murillo (2009)
- Completed a commission for Steppenwolf Theatre called Your Name Will Follow You Home
- His first TYA play, Augusta And Noble, received its world premiere at Adventure Stage in Chicago in 2013.
- His short piece, The Dead Parents Club, which was commissioned by the University of Iowa International Writers Program in conjunction with the Moscow Art Theatre, was performed in a cross-cultural collaboration between Russia and the U.S.
Adam Bock (2008)
- He was awarded the 2012 Guggenheim.
- His works include The Thugs, The Receptionist, A Small Fire, Swimming In The Shallows, and the musical adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In The Castle.
- He has won the Obie, the Otis Guernsey, Glickman, and Heideman awards and a Clauder, and been nominated for the Drama Desk, Outer Critics, GLAAD, and Kesseling awards. His plays have been produced in NYC at Playwrights Horizons, Mahattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Soho Rep, and Clubbed Thumb, all over the US, in Canada, the UK, Australia and Taiwan. He is a member of New Dramatists and psyched to be a mentor in TDF’s Open Doors program.
J.T. Rogers (2007)
- The Overwhelmingmade its American premiere at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City (top ten play of the year, Time magazine and Time Out New York).
- His latest play, Blood And Gifts, debuted at London’s National Theatre and was then presented at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City (top ten play of the year, New York Times and Time Out New York). That play was seen at La Jolla Playhouse this past summer; it opened at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago in April 2013.
- He is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He is currently writing new plays for the National Theatre and Lincoln Center Theater.
Melanie Marnich (2006)
- She has moved to the West Coast with her husband, the playwright Lee Blessing.
- She recently completed a new play, The Bridesmaids.
- After several seasons on the Showtime comedy, The Big C, she has begun work on Low Winter Sun, a new show for AMC.
- She remains close friends with her former Inge House roommate and fellow, David Scott Hay.
Lynne Kaufman (2005)
- Her play, Acid Test: The Many Incarnations Of Ram Dass(which was developed at the Inge Center in November 2010 when she was a playwright-in-residence) opened in October 2012 at The Marsh (Berkley, CA) and was extended twice, running until February 2013.
- Her play, The Couch(originally produced at The Magic Theatre in 1985, where it won the Glickman Award for best new play) was revived in an all new production in March 2013 at The Tides Theatre in San Francisco, produced by 3girlstheatre.
- Two new plays, The Greater Good and Dash And Lil had staged readings at 142 Throckmorton Theatre, in Mill Valley, CA in May
- Two 1 minute plays were produced by The San Francisco One Minute Play Festival, and a ten minute play, Gertrude, Alice And Leowas produced by 3girlstheatre.
Mary Portser (2004)
- Her play, Moirawas produced by the Fishamble Theatre Company in Dublin, Ireland.
- You Don’t Know Me, Homespun, and Wreckedwere developed at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Homespunwas subsequently part of EST – the LA Project’s “Best of the Fest” and Wreckedwas included in the Katselas Company’s Inkubator series.
- The Train In My Hotel, No Time For Women, and Animal Life have been part of EST the LA Project’s Winterfest series.
- Miss Martin’s Mouthwas the winner of the Los Angeles City College One Act play Festival.
- Theatre West produced Stopgapand Distress Signals, a series of comic monologues.
Theresa Rebeck (2003)
- Her play Dead Accountsopened on Broadway, starring Katie Holmes and Norbert Leo Butz.
- She premiered two new scripts at the O’Neill Center National Playwrights Center
- Numerous television/film credits include Trouble,Poor Behavior, Smash, and NYPD Blue.
Dana Yeaton (2002)
- Last summer his two-person musical, Swing State, was produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it was a Next Link winner.
- His play Men In Heatappeared in the new anthology Shorter, Faster, Funnier: Comic Plays and Monologues.
Mark St. Germain (2001)
- Has written Freud’sLast Session, Dr. Ruth, All The Way, And Best Of Enemies.
- Other plays include Camping With Henry And Tom(Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears On A Beatle, The God Committee, And Out Of Gas On Lover’s Leap.
- His play Scott And Hem In The Garden Of Allahpremiered at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and the Barrington Stage in 2013.
James Still (2000)
- In 2017, was named “Playwright-in-Residence in Perpetuity” at Indiana Repertory Theatre.
- His play I Love To Eat was produced at the Round House in Bethesda, MD and at Portland Center Stage in Portland, OR.
- His play Appoggiaturais commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre and had a Launch Pad preview production at UC-Santa Barbara (see American Theatre magazine, March 2013).
- He wrote the screenplay for The Miffy Moviewhich premiered in Amsterdam in 2013 — the first Dutch-produced children’s movie, with more screenings coming throughout Asia and Europe. The film is in “stop-motion” and is based on the characters created by Dutch writer Dick Bruna.
David Hirson (1999)
- The first major revival of David Hirson’s 1992 Olivier Award-winning comedy LA Bête opened in London’s West End in July, 2010.
- LA Bête, directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Mark Rylance (winner of last year’s Olivier Award for Best Actor in Jerusalem, and nominated in 2011 for his role In LA Bête), David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley, transferred to the Music Box Theatre on Broadway October 2011. It was the play’s second appearance on Broadway.
- LA Bête premiered in 1991 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and was nominated for five Tony Awards
David Ives (1998)
- His play Venus In Fur ran on Broadway and was nominated for Best Play, with its lead actress Nina Arianda winning Best Actress. Roman Polanski is turning the play into a movie featuring Emmanuelle Siegnier and Mathieu Amalric.
- The Heir Apparent, his adaptation of an 18th century French comedy, was a hit at the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, in D.C., and was nominated for Best Play at the Helen Hayes Awards.
- His evening of one-acts, All In The Timing, had its 20th anniversary production at Primary Stages in New York, where it ran for 606 performances in 1993-94.
- He is working on a musical with Stephen Sondheim.
Joe DiPietro (1997)
- Won two Tony awards for co-writing Memphis.
- Nominated for a Tony Award and won a Drama Desk Award for his current Broadway show Nice Work If You Can Get It, starring Matthew Broderick.
- His other plays and musicals include i love you, you’re perfect, now change (the longest-running musical revue in Off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award), Over The River And Through The Woods; The Art Of Murder (Edgar Award); and All Shook Up.
Brian Burgess Clark (1996)
- In 2008 became Executive Artistic Director of Boston’s oldest theatre company; the Boston Children’s Theatre
- Is Education Director of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
- His adaptation of Dylan Thomas’, A Child’s Christmas In Wales, is produced around the country at various regional theatres
Mary Hanes (1995) 1953-2012
- Television Series: Hope Island; Dead Last; Hack; Doc; Till Death Do Us Part; Eden; Make It Or Break It
- Television Pilots: The Night Doctor; Nurses, Inc.; Full Moon Bay; Desert Foxes; Common Cause; Hope Island
- Plays: Doin’ Time At The Alamo; The Crimson Thread; Hoodwinked; In Service; Girl Shoes; Counting On The Rosary; The New Rotics; Today’s Special
- Film: Hoodwinked; Voodoo Highway
Catherine Butterfield (1994)
- It Has To Be Youhad a staged reading in January at the Santa Barbara Theatre Festival.
- Earlier in 2012, Theatre Tribe in Los Angeles did an expert production of The Sleeperwhich was nominated for 6 LA Weekly awards.
- A production of The Last Time I Saw Timmy Boggs(the third act of Life In The Trees) beginning rehearsals in Melbourne, Australia.
- She is currently in talks with the American Blues Theatre in Chicago to adapt the Theodore Dreiser novel, An American Tragedy.
Jason Milligan (1993)
- His play, Men In Suits, which was presented at the 1993 Inge Festival went on to receive a world premiere at Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut; it was subsequently published and continues to receive productions throughout the U.S. and abroad
- Collaborated with fellow New Voices Award Winner, Mary Hanes on the PAX-TV series, Hope Island
- Currently working as a Senior writer for Walt Disney Creative Entertainment in California, creating live entertainment for Disney parks, resorts and cruise ships
- All’s Well That Ends Swell, his newest anthology of audition monologues, was published by Samuel French in 2011.
- His play, Pins And Needles, received a critically-acclaimed Southern California premiere in 2012.