Glickman Award for 2012 Goes to Christopher Chen for "The Hundred Flowers Project"
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
By Theatre Bay Area Staff
Christopher Chen has won the prestigious Will Glickman Award for The
Hundred Flowers Project, which received its world premiere with Crowded
Fire Theater and Playwrights Foundation in October 2012. Chen, Crowded Fire and
Playwrights Foundation will receive awards as part of Theatre Bay Area's
"Faces of Theatre Bay Area" event on March 4, 2012 at the San
Francisco Playhouse in San Francisco. In addition, Chen will receive the
award's $4,000 purse.
Will Dao, Ogie Zulueta, Wiley
Naman Strasser and Anna Ishida in the world premiere of Christopher Chen's The Hundred Flowers Project, coproduced
by Crowded Fire Theater and Playwrights Foundation (2012). Photo: Pak Han
In The Hundred Flowers Project, a collective of actors use 21st
century digital media tools to explore the propaganda mechanisms of the Chinese
Cultural Revolution. As their play becomes a successful, high-tech, worldwide
spectacle, the play begins to dramatically shift, and seemingly outside events
begin to surface inside the story, leaving us to figure out who, or what, is in
"I'm truly honored to receive this award for a project that was a labor of
love for myself, Crowded Fire and Playwrights Foundation," Chen says.
"I'm thrilled to have been a part of such an amazing year of Bay Area
theatre, and I'm proud to be a member of this community."
"We're deeply proud of nurturing this seminal new play from commission
through production with Christopher Chen and our coproducers at Playwrights
Foundation," says Crowded Fire artistic director Marissa Wolf. "To
win one of the most prestigious awards in the Bay Area, joining the ranks of
leading new play companies including Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks and the Magic,
is a tremendous honor. I feel very moved by the Glickman Award's powerful
support of innovative new work, promoting truly risky, exciting new plays like The
Hundred Flowers Project."
"Playwrights Foundation is honored and enormously proud to have supported
Chris as one of our resident playwrights," says Playwrights Foundation
artistic director Amy Mueller. "Deeply unconventional, this play pushed
past everything we knew about theatre into completely unknown territory; it was
our unshakable belief in the artistic brilliance of this playwright, our commitment
to a complex process for his vision, and our partnership with Crowded Fire that
sustained this three-year journey. It has been a delight to join together in
support of this hard-working and brave writer, and so gratifying that Chris is
now being recognized by this wonderful award. Let one hundred more productions
bloom as a result!"
This is the first Glickman Award for Crowded Fire and the second for
Playwrights Foundation, which won the prize in 2005 for its coproduction of Liz
Duffy Adams's play, Dog Act, with Shotgun Players.
"I'm so pleased to present this year's Will Glickman Award to Christopher
Chen for The Hundred Flowers Project," says Theatre Bay Area
executive director Brad Erickson. "Chris's writing is thrilling, pushing
boundaries, pushing the audience and his collaborators, but always grounded in
close and compassionate observation of human behavior. The play's premiere, a
coproduction of Crowded Fire and the Playwrights Foundation, exemplifies the
best of Bay Area new work development and our community's spirit of
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 preceding year. 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 also
named another strong contender as a runner-up for this year's award: Josh
Costello's stage adaptation of Cory Doctorow's novel Little Brother,
premiered by Custom Made Theatre Co., the full text of which is published in
the January/February 2013 issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine.
Glickman winner, Rajiv Joseph's The North Pool, opens off-Broadway
in February in a new staging by the director of its original TheatreWorks
production, Giovanna Sardelli. The 2011 winner, Luis Alfaro's Oedipus
el Rey, went on to celebrated productions in Los Angeles and Washington,
DC, and the 2010 winner, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play),
went on to become playwright Sarah Ruhl's Broadway debut. Other past recipients
include Tony Kushner forAngels 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).