The Wagner College Theatre has announced that the winner of this year’s Stanley Drama Award is William Cameron for his play, “Truth Be Told.”
Two plays were also announced as finalists for this year’s awards: “Christie,” by Brian Richard Mori, and “15 Minutes More,” book and lyrics by Joe Langworth, music by Steve Marzullo.
The awards will be given at the Player’s Club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan, on Monday, March 2 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”), Adrienne Kennedy’s “Funnyhouse of a Negro,” 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.
WILLIAM CAMERON is best known as the author of “Violet Sharp,” winner of the 2007 Julie Harris Playwriting Prize, a drama of the Lindbergh kidnapping case that received its world premiere at Theatre 40 in Los Angeles in 2009 and was published by Samuel French in 2012. Cameron’s plays have been performed around the country, including off-off Broadway at the Harold Clurman Theatre, the Source Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Pittsburgh New Works Festival and numerous community and academic theaters. Professor emeritus of theater and communication arts at Washington & Jefferson College, Cameron has written several plays tailored specifically to his students. These include “Intersect,” a drama about racial tensions at a small college, and “Cease to Exist,” a chronicle of the Manson murders. Cameron lives in Washington, Pa. with his wife, artist and actress Susan Martinelli.
‘TRUTH BE TOLD’ — Kathleen Abedon’s teenage son Julian carries an automatic weapon into his workplace and opens fire. When the smoke clears, 14 people are dead, Julian among them. One year later, when true-crime writer Jo Hunter comes to town to interview Kathleen for a book on the shooting, the grief-stricken mother seeks to convince the skeptical journalist that Julian has been framed for the shooting. At a time in our history when the truth is under attack on a daily basis, “Truth Be Told” explores the nature of objective truth and the ways in which we manipulate and distort it to serve our own ends.
BRIAN RICHARD MORI’s plays have been produced in dozens of venues across the U.S. and the U.K. and include “Adult Fiction” (Geva Theatre), “Coffee Talk” (Impact Theatre), “Eve in the Hot Seat” (New Jersey Repertory Company), “Bedtime Stories” (American Renegade Theatre), “Dreams of Flight” (Victory Gardens Theatre) and “Slow Fade to Black” (Neighborhood Playhouse). “Adult Fiction” (winner of the Davie prize), “Bedtime Stories” and “Eve in the Hot Seat” are published by Smith & Kraus, and “Dreams of Flight” is published by Dramatists Play Service. The television adaptation of the Abingdon Theatre’s off-Broadway production of “Hellman v. McCarthy,” starring Dick Cavett, Roberta Maxwell and Marcia Rodd, was taped and aired on PBS; Cavett and Rodd also starred in the L.A. production. Mori has had 15 screenplay options, including Fade In magazine winner “Obscura,” which is currently in development. Mori, who lives in New York City, is represented by Elaine Devlin at Elaine Devlin Literary. Visit his website at brianrichardmori.com.
‘CHRISTIE’ is a savagely funny portrait of Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, as told by his Iago, David Wildstein, his former classmate and the “mastermind” behind the Bridgegate fiasco. The play recounts their beginnings at Livingston High School through Christie’s governorship and the events leading up to, during and beyond Bridgegate to the present.
JOE LANGWORTH directed the 2019 MacDowell Colony National Benefit at Gotham Hall, which included appearances by Meshell Ndegeocello, Jiehae Park, Rodney Evans, Tommy Orange and Grace McLean. Starting his career as an actor, Langworth performed on Broadway in “A Chorus Line,” “Follies” and the original production of “Ragtime.” He went on to work as a casting director with Telsey + Company, where he collaborated on Lincoln Center Theater’s “South Pacific,” “Rent,” Lin Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights” and others. Langworth transitioned to directing with Geoffrey Naufft’s Broadway production of “Next Fall.” He went on to write and direct shows for Tony nominee Laura Osnes at Café Carlyle and Tony winner Paulo Szot at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. Regional directing premieres include “Companion Piece” by Kevin Armento and “Once Upon a Pastime” by Terry Cashman. Langworth’s directing work has been nominated by Broadway World (“CAROUSEL”) and the L.A. Drama Critics Circle (“West Side Story”). He was named best director at the 2018 New York Theatre Festival for his work on the new play, “Suicidal Life Coach.” Langworth lives in New York City and Esopus, N.Y.
STEVE MARZULLO has worked in professional theater for over 30 years as a pianist, conductor and music director. He has contributed to many Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals, including “Once On This Island,” “Ragtime,” “Floyd Collins, “Seussical” and “Mamma Mia!” He also played piano on the soundtracks of Disney’s feature films “Beauty and the Beast” and “Alladin” as well as Fox’s “Anastasia.” As a composer, Marzullo has had songs recorded by six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Tony winner Stephanie J. Block, Andrea McArdle (original “Annie”) and Rebecca Luker. He has recorded two albums of his original compositions, “Show Some Beauty” and “Kiss Me While We Have the Chance.” Marzullo lives in New York City.
‘15 MINUTES MORE’ — “15 Minutes More” to play, “15 Minutes More” to fix, “15 Minutes More” to indulge, “15 Minutes More” to go back in time. Our play follows the trajectory of Frankie Scordato, set against the tumultuous shifts in our not-so-distant gay history. As a boy, Frankie radiates innocence; as a teen, Frankie navigates rejection; and as a young man, Frankie stares into the face of a plague. But through it all, Frankie finds acceptance and laughter in his best friend, Margaret, the vivacious, fellow outsider who becomes Frankie’s partner in this unconventional love story. But when he lands in the new normal of man buns, skinny jeans and LGBTQ+LMNOP, Frankie is left alone to answer the provocative existential question: “I survived for this?”