2018 Bridge Award

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2018 AITAF Playwriting Award Winner Announcement from Adam Driver


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2018 Bridge Award Winner


"I'm thrilled to have been chosen as the winner of the 2018 Bridge Award! I'd like to thank AITAF for giving me the opportunity to learn as much as I can about the process of writing, editing, and putting on a play."

-Vinnie Lyman


WAR STORIES by Vinnie Lyman
A group of 10 soldiers, members of the same unit, share their experiences of combat. Through their anecdotes -- vivid, heartbreaking, and funny -- they weave a cumulative portrait of army life, spooling out what happened when they were overseas, and what happened when they returned home. The individual stories come together to weave a collective narrative that runs the gamut, touching on themes of trauma, loss, boredom, and survival.

Bio:
Vinnie Lyman lives and works in Maryland. He is married with two children. He is a special educator in Baltimore City, where he has worked with students with emotional and behavioral disabilities and students with multiple disabilities. He did two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne. This is his first play.

The Final Selecting Judge was
Suzan-Lori Parks.

Suzan-Lori Parks
Named among Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave,” Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the most acclaimed playwrights in American drama today. She is the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, and in 2015 was awarded the prestigious Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Other grants and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is also a recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. She is an alum of New Dramatists and of Mount Holyoke College.

Finalists

Alano P. Baez

TRASH TALK by Alano P. Baez
Two men wait for oblivion in a dystopian incarnation of Yonkers, NY, inside a large garbage container. Bobby, a street poet and vet, challenges Garbageman, a sanitation worker whose hand nearly fell off after touching some strange chemical substance, in a battle of wits, wills, and fierce wordplay. This deeply imagistic and strikingly poetic two-hander takes audiences on a ride towards...who knows.

Cynthia Hines

EXPOSURE by Cynthia Hines
The Hope family, longtime residents of southside Chicago, have a lot going on. We meet irascible, Vietnam-vet father Edmond and his two daughters: Veronica, a PTSD-stricken combat photographer home from Iraq, and Dina, who's trying to hold down a job and keep things together. The images Veronica captured with her camera while overseas won't let her go -- her PTSD is physically embodied by a rifle-wielding, abusive alter-ego -- and neither will the guilt over her best friend's suicide. Exposure is a fearless play about fear, unfinished business, and living in war zones, here and abroad.

David Tucker

SMOKE by David Tucker
During a deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia, two workers in a crematorium are tasked with the job of burning the bodies of the dead. Samuel, who's trying at all costs to provide for his family, and Junior, a young man who just wants to get back to university and kiss a girl, bond over shared, shockingly-mundane trauma. As its characters grapple with the ghosts of past responsibilities and regrets, Smoke paints a gripping, humane portrait of the struggle to honor the dead while protecting the living.

David Tucker

A GIRL WITH A GUN by Suzanne Willett
An all-female team of soldiers stationed in Iraq is charged with calming and communicating with the local women of the area, while the male soldiers work to flush out insurgents. As the team prepares for their mission with varying levels of skill and enthusiasm, the soldiers' different relationships to femininity, power, love, and conflict come in and out of vital relevance. A new commanding officer creates friction, and the women’s secrets and traumas erupt -- leading to an encounter on their mission that goes disastrously wrong.

Semi-Finalists

HURT, ME by Maurice Decaul
UPLIFTED by Anthony Delauder
WHY ARE YOU HERE? by Thomas deVries
LILAC AND LIQUOR by Jeffrey Key
A LITTLE MISUNDERSTANDING by Keith McGregor
THE BALLAD OF BUFORD JACK by Jacob Meeks
CADENCE: A FINAL ROLL CALL by Luke W. Miller
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD by Alexandra Victoria Parker
THE SMILING INTERROGATOR by Michael J. Phillips
BRAT by Jason Pizzarello
TRIBUNAL by Pete Riesenberg
FATIGUE by Melissa Ritz
AFTER THE WAR by William Rolleri
MOSIQI FOR PARWANA by Michelle Ruehl
THE BOROUGH by Anton Sattler
FATHER AND SON by Pierre Sutton, Jr.
GOIN’ HOME by Jerry Wade
THE THANKSGIVING BEFORE by Shamar White

The Bridge Award Team

Judge
Suzan-Lori Parks

Submissions Coordinator/Reader Committee Chair
Anna O’Donoghue

Reading Committee
Will Arbery
Heidi Armbruster
David Auburn
J. Stephen Brantley
Bekah Brunstetter
Jack Canfora
Nat Cassidy
Alice Eve Cohen
Nick Gandiello
Morgan Gould
Aleshea Harris
Claire Kiechel
Eric Lane
Mona Mansour
Caroline McGraw
Catya McMullen
Winter Miller
Anna Moench
Geo Decass O'Donnell
Tira Palmquist
Emily Schwend
Crystal Skillman
Daniel Talbott
Cori Thomas

Sponsors

Lawrence Benenson
Elyse Harary
Samuel French

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