Francesca Primus Prize for an emerging woman playwright
Friday, August 11, 2017 at 12:13AM
Operations Manager

Guidelines for 2018 Applications


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 ofFrancesca Ronnie Primus 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 2018, a playwright must have had a fully staged, professional production of her script within the calendar year 2017. The committee also considers a body of work going back several years. 

A submission must take 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 2016, only one may be submitted, but excerpts from or reviews of others may 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 2017, only playwrights will be considered, although other theater work might be described as part of the applicant’s body of work.)

The 2018 application deadline is May 1.

The committee selects six finalists for the award and then chooses a winner from among them. After receiving the check, the recipient is invited to a subsequent ATCA conference (expenses paid) for a small recognition ceremony. 

To apply, applicants should send an e-mail with their portfolio as a single attachment (PDF file preferred) and the produced playscript as a separate attachment to Robert Sokol at Be sure and include Primus Prize Submission in the subject line. Upon receipt of the submission you will be invoiced electronically for a $25 processing fee. If you don’t have the portfolio or the script in electronic form, send a printed copy of both to:

Robert Sokol, Operations Manager
584 Castro Street - #119
San Francisco, CA 94114

If you have questions about the application process, call Robert at 415.964.8040 or contact him via email. Send any other inquiries regarding the Primus Prize chair Barbara Bannon via email.

Article originally appeared on American Theatre Critics Association (
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