Jen Silverman named 2013 Winner of Yale Drama Series Prize

Yale Drama Series

Yale University Press is pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Yale Drama Series.  Jen Silverman’s “Still,” was chosen by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman out of 1,100 entries. Norman, in a recent interview, said:

The winner, Jen Silverman, wrote a play that, in both style and content, shook us to our bones. It is called Still, and will leave you sitting that way for quite a while. The other entries (over 1,000 of them) were by and large, bold and deeply felt. The ones I chose to honor as finalists are the ones whose craft and language distinguished them from the rest. They were also the ones that touched me deeply, that made me feel something that lasted beyond the reading of them.

Silverman’s play revolves around the lives of three women, each experiencing the trials and tribulations of childbirth. The play interweaves female narratives of unwanted pregnancy, stillborn children, and midwifery. Silverman said of the prize:

This award means so much to me, not only because it is an incredibly generous gift for any emerging playwright, but because it is recognition of a story that has often gone unheard, and a subject that is taboo.  Women’s bodies are such fraught objects in our current culture: territory to be negotiated and controlled.  Given that Still is a play about a mother grieving her stillborn child, a queer dominatrix, and a giant dead baby on a scavenger hunt, and given that it is in many ways a darkly comedic exploration of unsafe territory, this award is deeply meaningful to me in ways that are simultaneously personal and political.  I’m honored, excited, and deeply grateful to be the recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award.

Silverman‘s prize includes a staged reading at Lincoln Center and the David Charles Horn Prize, a $10,000 award. “Still” will also be published by Yale University Press.

Clarence Coo’s play Beautiful Province won the prize last year and will be available in September.

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