Arizona Theatre Company announced on Monday, June 29, that its 2015 National Latino Playwrighting Award and goes to Matthew Paul Olmos for his work the living’life of the daughter mira. Olmos will also receive a $1,000 prize.
The NPLA was founded 20 years ago by Arizona Theatre Company artistic director David Ira Goldstein and the company's playwright-in-residence Elaine Romero. The aim of the annual award, which is supported by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, is to spotlight theatrical works by emerging Latino creatives across the country.
It is one more in a long list of highlights on Olmos' résumé. The New York-based playwright is is a three-time recipient of the Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency, a 2015 Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist, and was selected by Sam Shepard as the inaugural recipient of La Mama e.t.c.’s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Award.
Olmos' play, developed in part by the Lark Play Development Center and Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, focuses on the lives of on a teenage mother, her family, the father of her child, and their prematurely born daughter.
“Our judges were struck by the rich language and impressed by the original world carved out in Matthew Paul Olmos’ new work, the living’life of the daughter mira,” Romero says of the winning work. “They particularly admired the plasticity of time and space in the piece, and how the play continually tracked the unexpected. The play does all this while remaining rooted in the trueness of its characters.”
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Arizona Theatre Company will present Olmos' play as a staged reading during its 2015-16 season, though a specific date has not been set yet.
Martín Zimmerman was named runner-up in the 2015 contest for his play, The Solid Sand Below, which follows a near-convict who goes on to be a soldier in Iraq.
ATC is currently accepting submissions for the 2016 National Latino Playwrighting Award from latino/a playwrights based in the U.S., its territories, and Mexico. The deadline is December 31, 2015, for unpublished and professionally unproduced works to be postmarked to . For details on how to submit your work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.