(for past Primus winners, scroll down)
The Francesca Primus Prize is an annual $10,000 award honoring outstanding contributions to the American theater by an emerging female playwright, one who has not yet achieved national prominence.
Administered by the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA), the prize is made possible through the generosity of the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, which honors the writer, critic, performer, dramaturg and cherished ATCA member who died at 42 of lung cancer in 1992.
The Primus Prize operates on an open submission basis—an applicant may submit herself or be nominated by another individual or organization. Members of ATCA are eligible to nominate or provide letters of recommendation.
To qualify for consideration in 2015, a playwright must have had a fully staged, professional production of her script within the calendar year 2014. The committee will also consider a body of work going back several years.
A submission must be in the form of a portfolio of no more than 20 single-sided pages. It should include a letter recommending the candidate, a synopsis of her body of work, and supporting materials sufficient to familiarize the committee with her achievement, possibly including reviews and/or a statement of the artist’s philosophy. In addition (beyond those 20 pages), playwrights should also submit the produced playscript. If more than one play was produced in 2014, only one may be submitted, but excerpts from or reviews of others might be part of the portfolio. Portfolios (including scripts) will not be returned.
(NOTE that in some previous years, theater artists other than playwrights were invited to apply. For 2015, only playwrights will be considered, although other theater work might be described as part of the applicant’s body of work.)
The 2015 application deadline is April 30.
As of 2015, six finalists are announced. The winner is then announced soon thereafter — when practical, at a national ATCA conference, but sometimes by press release. The recipient is then invited to a subsequent ATCA conference (expenses paid) for a small ceremony in recognition.
To apply, send one paper copy of the full portfolio of statement, reviews, letters, etc., along with a processing fee of $25 (checks made payable to ATCA) to ATCA, c/o Barry Gaines, 12809 Northern Sky NE, Albuquerque NM 87111-8089.
Then send that same portfolio BY EMAIL as a single attachment, and the script as a separate attachment, to Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put PRIMUS PRIZE in the subject line. If you don’t have either the portfolio or the script in electronic form, you will have to send six paper copies instead. If you have any questions, email Barry or call him at 505-856-2101.