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The Stanley Drama Award

Celebrating its 59th Anniversary, The Stanley Drama Award is a thrilling and striking honor for any playwright looking to find support and recognition for their work, as well as financial backing for such things as workshops, stagings, and other necessities needed to pursue future productions.

The national competition, administered by the Wagner College Theatre Department, was established in 1957 by Mrs. Alma Timolat Stanley to encourage and support aspiring playwrights. The award carries with it a $2000 monetary prize as well as the distinction of joining an illustrious list of past Stanley Award winners that include playwrights such as Lonne Elder III (Oscar-Nominated Sounder, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men), Jonathan Larson (Tony Award-winner for Rent, Tick Tick Boom!), and Terrance McNally (Tony Award-winner for Ragtime, A Kiss of the Spiderwoman).

When the foundation dissolved in 1987, an endowment was distributed to Wagner College with the charge to use the funds generated to continue the annual Stanley Drama Award. The award is advertised in several national publications and submissions to the competition range from 100 to 200 plays annually.
The Award is offered for an original full-length play or musical, or a series of two or three thematically related one-act plays which have not previously been professionally produced or published. Finalists' plays will also be recognized and honored.

Recent judges include playwrights A.R. Gurney, Terrence McNally, and producer Victoria Maxwell. Past judges of the contest include such notable playwrights as Edward Albee and Paul Zindel, actresses Geraldine Page, Kim Stanley, and TV producer David Susskind. Final readers include a variety of faces from the New York theatre community including Artistic Directors, Literary Agents, and Producers.