Playwright Rajiv Joseph has won the prestigious Will Glickman Award for “The North Pool,” which received its world premiere with TheatreWorks in March 2011. Joseph and TheatreWorks will receive awards as part of Theatre Bay Area’s 35th Anniversary “35 Years, 35 Faces” event on April 30, 2012 at Z Space in San Francisco. In addition, Joseph will receive the award’s $4,000 purse.
In this cat-and-mouse psychological drama, a Middle Eastern high school student is called into the office by his vice principal, who’s anything but forthcoming about his reasons for detaining the Syrian-born student after school. What looks at first like a simple case of ethnic profiling gradually reveals itself to be something else altogether, something much deeper and more surprising.
"I am deeply honored to be chosen for this award, especially considering the wealth of new plays produced in the Bay Area,” Joseph says. “I am especially grateful for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, whose New Works Initiative played an enormous role in the development of ‘The North Pool.’”
“The entire TheatreWorks company is thrilled with this award for a truly brilliant new play,” says company artistic director Robert Kelley. “‘The North Pool’ electrified our audiences and introduced all of us to Rajiv Joseph, one of the most exciting and invigorating young playwrights in the American theatre. And he’s a great guy, too!”
This is the second Glickman Award for TheatreWorks, which won the prize in 2001 for Bill Russell and Henry Krieger’s musical “Everything’s Ducky.”
“We’re so pleased to present this prestigious award to Rajiv Joseph and TheatreWorks this year,” says Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson. “Since 1984, the Will Glickman Award has celebrated some of the best theatre the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer, and we’re pleased that the critics panel selected Rajiv Joseph and “The North Pool” as the next representatives to add to that list.”
Administered by Theatre Bay Area and started in 1984 to honor Bay Area playwright and screenwriter Will Glickman, the Will Glickman Award is presented annually to the author or authors of the best play to have its world premiere in the Bay Area. The winner is chosen by a panel of top Bay Area theatre critics: Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Avila of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Karen D’Souza of the San Jose Mercury News, Chad Jones of TheaterDogs.net and Sam Hurwitt of the Marin Independent Journal.
The panel noted that there were several strong contenders debuting in 2011. Runners-up included “God’s Plot” by Mark Jackson (Shotgun Players); “Fly by Night” by Kim Rosenstock, “Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick” (TheatreWorks) and “Phaedra” by Adam Bock (Shotgun).
Last year’s winner, Luis Alfaro’s “Oedipus el Rey,” went on to celebrated productions in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Other past recipients include Tony Kushner for “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” (1992), Philip Kan Gotanda for “Yankee Dawg You Die” (1989), Octavio Solis for “Santos y Santos” (1994) and Leigh Fondakowski et al for “The People’s Temple” (2006).
Tickets will be available shortly for Theatre Bay Area’s “35 Years, 35 Faces” event, which, in addition to celebrating the Glickman awardees will also spotlight 33 other artists, companies, patrons and notables who have touched or been touched by Theatre Bay Area and its programs and services. Visit www.theatrebayarea.org/35faces for more information starting February 1.