You’re probably not trying hard enough

Here’s the short version: the Wasserstein Prize committee decided not to give an award this year because they had not found a young female playwright deserving of the award in 2010. This, of course, has brought about quite a bit of controversy.

Callie weighs in on this very well:

Last week, when I heard the news that a $25,000 prize was going to go ungiven, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard the adjudicators had worked, considering how very hard all the playwrights I know work. I don’t know who the evaluators are, and I don’t know why there were only 19 nominees. I can only imagine that, as with so many nonprofit undertakings, resources were thin and time was short, and that the panel really believed not awarding the prize was the best choice at the time.”

Maybe something’s wrong with the Wasserstein Prize people’s criteria or process. I think this each year about the Pulitzer Drama committee. You know, when the Pulitzer committee decides not to give an award for drama, they’re essentially saying there were no American plays that year any better than RENT (1996 Pulitzer winner) or DINNER WITH FRIENDS (2000) or NIGHT, MOTHER (1992).

It’s not even insulting. It’s just lazy.

It just means that you wore out your process and gave up. You stuck your pan into the stream, found no gold, so you packed your tent and went home. STICK YOUR PAN BACK IN THERE, MOTHERFUCKER!

As Callie said, maybe it’s just a lack of time and funding. But I think even a cursory glance around the downtown NYC theater scene would net you at least one deserving writer, let alone the populist works littering off-Broadway and regional theaters. The entire theater community needs help and attention to support the brilliant work being made every day. Just because you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

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