September 17, 2014— ATCA announced today that playwright Jennifer Haley has been awarded the 2014 Francesca Primus Prize for her play The Nether. Haley will receive the $10,000 award check immediately and be officially congratulated at an upcoming ATCA conference. Jointly sponsored by ATCA and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize is given annually to an emerging woman playwright.
(For more on the Primus Prize and a full list of winners, click here.)
The Nether is set in a futuristic world where virtual reality has become more seductive and engrossing than daily life. An admitted pedophile, Sims, has set up a Victorian site called the Hideaway where a child avatar named Iris entertains male guests. Its chief client is a science teacher named Doyle … . , whose whole life revolves around Iris and the Hideaway. But the site also attracts the attention of Morris, a female detective who questions both men about its implications. Sims argues that allowing men to indulge their fantasies in the safety of a virtual world keeps them from acting them out in reality, but even if that is the case, does that make their behavior acceptable?