Stanley Drama Award winners named

Stanley Drama Award winners named

SDA_56thLogoThe Wagner College Theatre has named Brian Mulholland the winner of the 2013 Stanley Drama Award for his play, “The Return of Tartuffe.”

Two finalists in the 2013 competition were also announced: Rob Winn Anderson for “The Tenth Son,” and Harold Ellis Clark for “Tour Detour.”

This year’s Stanley Award guest speaker and presenter will be Tony Award-nominated playwright David Ives (“Venus in Fur”).

This year’s award program will be held on Monday, March 18 at 6 p.m. at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South (20th Street), Manhattan. The award ceremony will be followed by a cocktail reception.

For more information about the Stanley Drama Award program, call Betty McComiskey at 718-420-4014, or e-mail her at emccomis@wagner.edu.


About the Stanley Drama Award

The Stanley Drama Award was established in 1957 by Staten Island philanthropist Alma Guyon Timolat Stanley and endowed through the Stanley-Timolat Foundation to encourage and support aspiring playwrights. The national Stanley Award competition is administered by the Wagner College Theatre program, listed for the last decade among the top five college theater programs in the country in the Princeton Review’s annual Best Colleges Guide. The award carries with it a monetary prize along with the distinction of joining the illustrious list of past Stanley Award winners.

The Stanley Drama Award has a long and distinguished history. Past winners include Terrence McNally’s “This Side of the Door” (aka “Things That Go Bump in the Night”), Lonne Elder III’s “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men,” and Jonathan Larson’s “Rent.” Among those judging for the Stanley Award have been playwrights Edward Albee and Paul Zindel, actresses Geraldine Page and Kim Stanley, and TV producer/pioneer talk-show host David Susskind.


Brian Mulholland2013 Stanley Drama Award winner: Brian Mulholland’s ‘The Return of Tartuffe’

He’s returned — that 17th century con man whose delicious comic villainy has made him an audience favorite for over 300 years. In this sequel to Molière’s comedy — written, like the original, in rhyming couplets — Tartuffe finds himself exiled to the American colonies, where he meets the target for his next swindle, the eminent author and theologian, Cotton Mather. Tartuffe’s arrival coincides with the debate raging over the controversial concept of inoculation — a debate that Mather, a fierce proponent of the idea, is losing. With one of his typical tall tales, Tartuffe swings the debate in Cotton’s favor, thus ingratiating himself and setting up Cotton as his mark.

Tartuffe also devises a unique seduction based on “inoculation theory,” while a family debate brews over the honesty of his intentions. Traps are planned — and countered; tables are turned — and countered — and finally, turned again. Will Tartuffe’s new and improved flim-flams carry the day? Has the great exploiter of over-piousness found his feeding ground in the heart of the Puritan experiment? Or will “righteousness” prevail? This comic romp will have you guessing right up to the end.

Playwright Brian Mulholland, a Rhode Island native, now lives in Cincinnati. “The Return of Tartuffe” is his first play. Mulholland’s previous theatrical experience has been as an actor. He has appeared in leading roles at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Montana Rep, Southwest Shakespeare Festival, Dartmouth Summer Repertory and Seattle’s Palace and Cirque theaters, among others.


Rob Winn Anderson2013 Stanley Drama Award finalist: Rob Winn Anderson’s ‘The Tenth Son’

It is the summer of 1722. The heat of the day pales in comparison to the turbulent relationship 16-year old Benjamin Franklin has with his older brother, James, and the intense passion he has found in the arms of a somewhat older Mary Beekman.

When James attempts to restrain what he considers Ben’s growing arrogance, Ben challenges him, with Mary’s help. In so doing, Ben becomes embroiled in a battle of medicine, religion and political manipulations. He must rely on all of his instincts to stealthily maneuver his way onto the pages of James’ newspaper, The New England Courant, stand toe-to-toe with an influential Puritan minister and outwit two men determined to stir the pot and control not only the paper but Boston as well.

Fall arrives, and with it comes a glimpse into the man Benjamin Franklin is destined to become. As his life is turned upside down, Ben discovers that silence is no longer an effective tool, and that in order to have a voice you must use your voice.

“The Tenth Son” also won the 2012 Brian Christopher Wolk Award from Manhattan’s Abingdon Theatre.

Playwright Rob Winn Anderson, of Orlando, Fla., is also a freelance director and choreographer. In addition to his writing and directing for the stage, he is a noted theme park director for such clients as Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens and Sea World. Upcoming productions of his award-winning work include “A Tennessee Walk” at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre and Jacksonville State University, and “A Fine Line” at the Clockwise Theatre. Other award-winning plays by Anderson include “The Locker” and “Broad Strokes.” Anderson was a resident playwright at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in October 2003 under Master Artist Eric Bogosian. Anderson is also an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Great Plains Theatre Conference.


Harold Ellis Clark (web)2013 Stanley Drama Award finalist: Harold Ellis Clark’s ‘Tour Detour’

Set four months before the 2008 U.S. presidential election, a son, just prior to embarking on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan, visits his father who's serving a life sentence at a Central Louisiana prison. They haven't seen each other in twenty-six years.

Playwright Harold Ellis Clark of Gretna, La., began writing plays in 2010 at the suggestion of a local New Orleans actor who was impressed with the dialogue in one of his unpublished novels, “Marrero Action,” a finalist for the 2007 William Faulkner-William Wisdom by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. “Marrero Action” opened in March 2011 at the Anthony Bean Community Theater in New Orleans. Among his other work is the screenplay “Urban Realities” (2000), and the play “Fishers of Men,” which opened in June 2012 at Dillard University’s Cook Theatre in New Orleans. His current work-in-progress is titled “We Live Here.”

For nearly 10 years, Clark has been the host and producer of WYLD-FM’s “Sunday Journal with Hal Clark,” a four-time winner of the Best Radio Talk Show award at the annual Press Club of New Orleans Excellence in Journalism competition. Clark also works as executive associate to the chancellor at Southern University at New Orleans.


Guest presenter David Ives was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play last year for “Venus in Fur.” He is otherwise perhaps best known for his evening of one-act comedies, “All in the Timing,” winner of the Outer Critics Circle Playwriting Award, and “Time Flies.” Other plays include: “New Jerusalem,” winner of the Hull-Warriner Award; “The Liar,” adapted from Corneille, and winner of the Charles MacArthur Award; “The School for Lies,” adapted from Molière’s “The Misanthrope”; “The Heir Apparent,” adapted from J-F. Regnard; “Is He Dead?”, adapted from Mark Twain, and “Polish Joke.” He has translated Feydeau’s “A Flea In Her Ear,” winner of a Joseph Jefferson Award, and has adapted 33 musicals for the New York City Center’s celebrated “Encores!” series. A former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting, David Ives lives in New York City.