The Wagner College Theatre has announced that the winner of this year’s Stanley Drama Award is Carl L. Williams for his play, “Some Other Verse.”
Two finalists for this year’s awards were also announced: Michael Edan for “A Red Bloom in Winter,” and Robert Kehew for “Even Kings: Rockefeller at Ludlow.”
The awards will be given at the Player’s Club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan, on Monday, March 18 at 6 p.m.
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, ranked as the number one college theater program in the country in the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges Guide 2015.” The Stanley Award carries with it a monetary prize along with the distinction of joining the company of past Stanley 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.
CARL L. WILLIAMS is a Houston playwright whose full-length and one-act plays have won numerous national playwriting competitions and have been finalists in many more. His plays have received over 350 productions around the country and in a number of foreign countries. More than 35 of his plays have been published, with several one-acts appearing in anthologies. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Texas Nonprofit Theatres and the American Association of Community Theatre. Williams has twice been a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award: in 2011 for “A Woman on the Cusp,” and in 2004 for “Under a Cowboy Moon.” He is also the author of a western novel, “Fool’s Play.”
‘SOME OTHER VERSE’ — A young man intent on living a dissolute, artistic life as a poet becomes infatuated with a new love, but he soon encounters two life-changing dilemmas. Will economic necessity, along with the insistence of his older sister, compel him to forsake his poetic life and accept a mundane, regular job? And, when confronted with the opportunity, will he choose to sacrifice love in exchange for artistic success? Poetry, romance and self-interest intersect in the ever-shifting flow of a young man’s life.
MICHAEL EDAN’s plays have been presented at theaters in the U.S. and the U.K., including the Road Theatre, Luna Stage, Variations Theatre Group, Theatre Three, Depot Theatre, Blue Orange Theatre and Phoenix Stage. His play “Homecoming” was selected for the 2014 Ashland New Play Festival and was a semi-finalist for the Playwrights First Award. “The Lost Kingdom” was in the finals of the 2014 nuVoices Festival at the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (N.C.). His plays have been in various festivals and won several awards, including best play and best actor at both the 2010 Aery Theatre Festival and the Harvest One-Act Play Festival, for his play “Last Actor Standing.” His play “The Shrine,” which has received several productions, was in the finals of the 2014 Dubuque Fine Arts Players One Act Play Contest and Festival, and finals of the 2013 Warner International Playwrights Festival. He has monologues published in “Contemporary Monologues for Young Women, Vol. II” (Fall 2013) and “One on One: Playing with a Purpose — Monologues for Kids 7-15” (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2013).
‘A RED BLOOM IN WINTER’ is a fictional story that surrounds and involves actual events of a true crime: the murder of Daisy Zick, which occurred in Battle Creek, Mich., in January 1963. (Thus, some characters in the play, while based on actual persons associated with the investigation, have fictitious names, except for Daisy and her husband Floyd.) The play juxtaposes the shock of Daisy’s murder within the community with the simultaneous resurgence of feminism in the early 1960s, sparked by the impact of “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan, as seen in the lives of three women in Battle Creek. Along with the examination of key individuals as possible suspects in the crime, the impact of the murder profoundly affects Helen, who spirals into a vortex of uncertainty, encountering her own precarious identity, potential psychosis in her visions of Daisy, and eventual discovery of what it means for a woman to claim her own power.
ROBERT KEHEW is a poet and playwright. He is author of “Lark in the Morning: The Verses of the Troubadours, A Bilingual Edition,” published by the University of Chicago Press and featuring verse translations by Ezra Pound, W.D. Snodgrass and Kehew. He also has published original poems and translations of poems in a number of literary journals, including Revista Internacional: The Literary Quarterly of the University of Puerto Rico, Sparrow: The Yearbook of the Sonnet, Shenandoah, and The Exquisite Corpse. In the late 1980s, Kehew was active in the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco. During that period, the center staged readings of three of Kehew’s plays. Since 2010, Kehew has again turned to playwriting. Robert Kehew holds a bachelor’s degree in city planning from the University of Virginia, and a masters degree in public policy degree from Harvard University. He works for an agency of the United Nations and lives in Nairobi, Kenya with his wife and two children.
‘EVEN KINGS: ROCKEFELLER AT LUDLOW’ — At age 40, sheltered Manhattanite and father-to-be John Rockefeller is still very much under his wealthy father’s thumb. That begins to change when 11 women and children meet fiery deaths during a fractious miners’ strike in hardscrabble Colorado, and John begins to raise uncomfortable questions about his family’s possible complicity. Will John overcome resistance from mysterious quarters — as well as his own internal stumbling blocks — to get to the bottom of the Ludlow Massacre?