Clarence Coo has been chosen by playwright John Guare as the winner of the 2012 Yale Drama Series for his play Beautiful Province. Selected from over 1100 plays submitted from 24 countries, Beautiful Province, as the winner of this year's Yale Drama Series Award, will be published by Yale University Press. On Tuesday, September 18 Mr. Coo will be honored at a reception at Lincoln Center Theater where he will receive the David C. Horn prize of $10,000 which will be immediately followed by a staged reading of Beautiful Province. Runner-ups for the 2012 Yale Drama Series were Saviana Stanescu, for her play Useless, and Jesse Weaver, for his play We Shall Catch Larks.
Beautiful Province is the story of a road trip across Canada taken by a fifteen year old boy and his French high school teacher.
"The DC HORN Foundation/Yale Drama Series prize for an emerging playwright, received over a thousand entries this year," said playwright Guare. "My readers and I found Beautiful Province by Clarence Coo to be the most successfully realized play. I admired it for its bold theatricality, its daring, its ambitious theme, its consistent tone, its heightened language. The contest searches for a brave new voice in the English-speaking world. We found this year's winner in Clarence Coo's Beautiful Province."
"There is no simpler or greater gift for a playwright than to be told that one's vocation is important, " said Clarence Coo. "But to be told in a way as full of the generosity and encouragement of the Yale Drama Series Prize was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I am so grateful and honored."
Clarence Coo developed Beautiful Province (Belle Province) at the Inkwell's Inkubator Series and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His other work has been produced or developed at the New York International Fringe Festival, Mu Performing Arts, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Round House Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, the Young Playwrights Festival, and the Kennedy Center. He was an Allen Lee Hughes Fellow at Arena Stage, a recipient of the Larry Neal Writers' Award, and a social media writer for the 2010 and 2011 Tony Awards. He received his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University where he studied under Charles Mee, and is currently the program administrator of the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia's School of the Arts.
John Guare is the author of the plays The House of Blue Leaves (winner of the NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and 4 Tony Awards for its 1986 Lincoln Center Theater production), Six Degrees of Separation (winner of the NY Drama Critics Circle and Olivier Awards for Best Play), A Free Man of Color, Lydie Breeze, Bosoms and Neglect, Landscape of the Bodyand A Few Stout Individuals. His screenplay for Louis Malle's Atlantic City earned him an Oscar nomination.
Now in its sixth year, the Yale Drama Series is an annual international competition, funded by the David Horn Foundation, which is open to emerging playwrights who are invited to submit original, unpublished and unproduced full-length English language plays for consideration. For the second year, John Guare served as the sole judge of the competition, with award-winning playwrights Edward Albee and David Hare having previously served as judges. Submissions for the 2013 Yale Drama Series Award must be postmarked no earlier than June 1, 2012 and no later than August 15, 2012. For complete contest rules please visit: www.yalepress.yale.edu/ypubooks/drama.asp.