Francesca Primus Prize for an emerging woman playwright
Friday, August 11, 2017 at 12:13AM
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Guidelines for 2017 
(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 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 2017, a playwright must have had a fully staged, professional production of her script within the calendar year 2016. 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 2017 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, send one paper copy of the full portfolio—including the script—along with a processing fee of $25 to American Theatre Critics Association, c/o Robert Sokol, Operations Manager, 584 Castro Street, #119, San Francisco, CA 94114. Checks should be made payable to ATCA.

Then send the same portfolio by e-mail as a single attachment, and the produced playscript as a separate attachment, to Robert Sokol at Put Primus Prize in the subject line. If you don’t have the portfolio or the script in electronic form, please note that on the paper copy that you mail. If you have questions about the application process, e-mail Robert or call him at (415) 964-8040.

Send any other inquiries to Primus Prize chair Barbara Bannon at; or to ATCA chair Bill Hirschmann at

Article originally appeared on American Theatre Critics Association (
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