Alumna Naomi Wallace wins Horton Foote Prize

Alumna Naomi Wallace wins Horton Foote Prize

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Graduated from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop

University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop alumna Naomi Wallace (along with David Lindsay-Abaire) is 2012 winner of the Horton Foote Prize. The Horton Foote Prize is a biennial award honoring playwrights for “excellence in American Theatre.” The award comes with a $15,000 cash prize.

Naomi Wallace

The 2012 Prize for Promising New American Play was awarded to Wallace’s The Liquid Plain. Lindsay-Abaire and Wallace will be honored at an Oct. 1 reception at the Lotos Club in New York City.

Foote, a prolific writer of screenplays, stage plays, and TV dramas, is best known for his screenplays of To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies.

Mari Marchbanks, founder and executive director of the Marchbanks Family Foundation, which funds the honor, said, "Mr. Foote worked at his craft for over 70 years, contributing to the world some of our most beloved works; writing over 60 plays, movies and TV dramas. He also took great delight in his fellow playwrights, in what they were writing, and in the growth of their individual literary canons.

"With these awards the prize says 'thank you' to the American playwright for the important work they do. We hope the prize inspires its recipients in their continued contribution to the canon of American theater."

Michael Wison, chair of the 2012 awards, commented, “Naomi Wallace is an astonishingly imaginative voice who, along with Tennessee Williams, is one of two only two American playwrights to have ever been represented in the La Comédie Française répertoire in over 300 years. Her new play, The Liquid Plain, explores a shameful chapter in our nation’s history.”

The world premiere of The Liquid Plain at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival will begin previews July 2, 2013, with opening night set for July 6, 2013.

Wallace's work has been produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, including premieres at the Iowa New Play Festival.

Her major plays include the UI-premiered In the Heart of America and War Boys, as well as One Flea Spare, Slaughter City, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Things of Dry Hours, The Fever Chart: Three Short Visions of the Middle East, and And I And Silence.

Her work has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, and an Obie. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

Her award-winning film Lawn Dogs is available on DVD, and The War Boys, co-written with Bruce Mcleod, was released in 2010. Her new film, also co-written with Bruce Mcleod, Flying Blind, will be released this year.

The Iowa Playwrights Workshop is a graduate program in the Department of Theatre Arts, which is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Winston Barclay, University Communication and Marketing, 319-430-1013


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