Primus Prize a highlight of Sardi’s brunch
Raphaela Rose Primus came in from Israel, where she lives, to join her parents, Barry Primus and Julie Arenal
and to make the official presentation (note the plaque; the $10,000 check was sent earlier) to Leah Nanako Winkler, whose parents were also present. Here are Raphaela’s brief remarks. “My late aunt Francesca Primus was a dedicated advocate of the woman’s voice. She would be proud to see how much things have changed in the recent past, and would be leading the charge for the future. Her conviction that untold perspectives would change the face of theatre are why I stand before you, presenting the Primus Prize to a young woman making her voice heard.
“Through her interactions and shared passions with the great theatre critic Harold Clurman, my Aunt Francesca learned what it means for theatre to be an instrument of social change. She would have been thrilled to be here, supporting a cause she believed in with all her heart. She loved this association and the critics involved, the heady conversations, and the comradery of a community all dedicated to creating meaningful and joyful theater. She knew how important an event theater can be, when the actors are alive, the ideas daring, and the words evocative and beautiful.
“Francesca wrote and supported the women playwrights that she was involved with, both as a critic and a reader for several prizes. As well as adding to the collection of female playwrights, Ms. Winkler’s accomplishment holds added urgency for its examination of race and prejudice in our country.
“The Primus Foundation takes this moment to thank the Critics Association for its continual support of this prize in my Aunt’s honor, and we are thrilled to congratulate Ms. Leah Nanako Winkler on her play, Two Mile Hollow.”