'When January Feels Like Summer' author wins new play award
Playwright Cori Thomas' "When January Feels Like Summer" has won the 2011 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award. It premiered at City Theatre on the South Side in March 2010.
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Playwright Cori Thomas has received the 2011 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for "When January Feels Like Summer," which premiered at City Theatre in March 2010.
Presented by the American Theatre Critics Association, the award recognizes an author who has not yet achieved national stature. The winner is chosen from nominations by critics throughout the country.
"When January Feels Like Summer" had its initial reading at City's 2007 Momentum Festival. Its 2010 production was supported in part by the Edgerton Foundation's fund for new American plays.
"This was my first professional production. So to receive this recognition is a feeling you cannot really describe," Ms. Thomas said upon hearing the news. "It was so rewarding to work at City Theatre after having been at Momentum. I'm thrilled."
City artistic director Tracy Brigden said, "Cori Thomas is one of the most exciting new writers on the American theater scene today. All of us at City Theatre are so proud to have produced the world premiere of this glorious play."
The Post-Gazette review of "When January Feels Like Summer" called it "a tale of redemption that goes right to the heart of the American promise of renewal. ... We learn that the exotic is normal, or perhaps vice versa. Sweet without being sugary, [it] turns out to be about the mysterious varieties of love."
Ms. Thomas was born in New York to a Liberian diplomat and a Brazilian mother and lived in seven countries before returning to the United States. She studied theater at Marymount Manhattan College, has been a finalist for a Juilliard Fellowship and the National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill Festival and was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
The Osborn Award was established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. It includes $1,000 and will be presented April 2 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ky.
First Published March 19, 2011 12:00 am