American Blues Theater names Kristoffer Diaz
the recipient of the 2022 Blue Ink Award
for his play “Things With Friends”
Kristoffer Diaz; credit by Christopher Boudewyns
American Blues to host festival reading of the winning script
and feature three finalists:
Audrey Cefaly, Victor Lesniewski, and Gloria Majule.
American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announces the recipient of the 2023 Blue Ink Award is Kristoffer Diaz for his play Things With Friends. As part of the award, Diaz receives a $2,500 cash prize, a staged reading at American Blues Theater, and the opportunity to further develop his script with American Blues Theater.
A staged reading of Things With Friends will be presented this August as part of the 2023 Blue Ink Playwriting Festival, along with new work by finalists Audrey Cefaly (Trouble), Victor Lesniewski (Cold Spring), and Gloria Majule (Uhuru). Details for 50 playwrights named in the 2023 Blue Ink Award are at AmericanBluesTheater.com. Information about the staged reading, including dates and tickets, will be announced at a later date.
2023 Blue Ink Award winner Kristoffer Diaz notes, “It's truly an honor to receive this year's Blue Ink Award. Wendy Whiteside and American Blues have been an important part of my career dating back to before I even really had a career to speak of. It's fantastic to come full circle. Even though my life and work are based on the east coast these days, I'm proud to consider myself a Chicago playwright.”
“We are thrilled to announce Kristoffer Diaz as the 2023 Blue Ink Award winner,” notes Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. “Diaz’s voice resonates through every page. He has the ability to surprise through character descriptions and actions, word choice, punctuation, and reveals details only as needed.”
About Things With Friends
Manhattan. Burt and Adele are hosting a dinner party. Steak is on the stove. The George Washington Bridge has collapsed into the Hudson. Kristoffer Diaz has written a play about it. I've already said too much.
About Kristoffer Diaz
KRISTOFFER DIAZ is a playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and educator. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Other full-length titles include Welcome to Arroyo’s, Reggie Hoops, Hercules, and The Unfortunates. His work has been produced, commissioned, and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, ACT, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among many others. Awards include the Guggenheim, Jerome, Van Lier, NYFA, and Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowships; New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; Lucille Lortel, Equity Jeff, and OBIE Awards; and the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant, among others. As a screenwriter, Kristoffer has developed original television pilots for HBO and FX, written for the first season of Netflix’s GLOW, and adapted the musical Rent for FOX. Kristoffer teaches playwriting at New York University. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a member of its Board of Directors, and the current secretary of the Dramatists Guild Council.
Blue Ink 2023
About the Blue Ink Award for playwriting
The nationally-renowned Blue Ink Award was created in 2010 to support new work. Since inception, American Blues Theater has named 13 Blue Ink Award winners, 129 finalists, and 203 semi-finalists. Nearly $10,000 in cash and prizes will be distributed to playwrights in 2023.
Each year American Blues Theater accepts worldwide submissions of original, unpublished full-length plays. The winning play will be selected by Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and the theater’s Ensemble. The 2023 winning playwright receives a monetary prize of $2,500. Cash prizes are awarded to finalists and semi-finalists too. All proceeds of the administrative fee are distributed for playwrights’ cash prizes.
Submissions for the 2024 Blue Ink Playwriting Award open August 1, 2023. All submissions must be received by American Blues Theater by August 31, 2023 at 11:59pm. Playwrights may only submit one (1) manuscript each year for consideration.
About American Blues Theater
Winner of the American Theatre Wing’s prestigious National Theatre Company Award, American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization with an intimate environment that patrons, artists, and all Chicagoans call home. American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves.
The diverse and multi-generational artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. As of 2023, the theater and artists received 226 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and 44 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.