About The Gassner Award
The John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award Competition fosters new playwrights and scripts through this important competition established by Molly Gassner, wife of theatre historian John Gassner. The Award was created in 1967 to honor the late John Gassner (1903-1967) for his lifetime dedication to all aspects of professional and academic theatre.
Two cash prizes will be awarded: First Prize of $1000, and Second Prize of $500. The judges may withhold prizes if in their opinion no play merits the award. Only full-length scripits are accepted.
2012 Gassner Award Winner
Richard Manley for his play The Truth Quotient
The Truth Quotient takes place a few years from now, in a foreseeable future, when overcoming loneliness and feeling loved are no less of a challenge, but technology offers more solutions to those who can afford them. David is a wealthy entrepreneur who, despite great business successes, feels something is missing in his life. To ameliorate this nagging emptiness, he turns to a new company called Nureal, which promises real companionship from artificial beings.
After two decades of success as a copywriter and advertising executive, Richard Manley started a second career writing stage plays, which he has been doing full time for the past five years. Pulling from many years' worth of personal journals, he rediscovered his passion for the sound of the language and its potential to entertain and provoke and inspire. When he returned to the States from a sabbatical in Paris six years ago, he sold his business and structured a lifestyle that would allow him to write stage plays full time.
The Truth Quotient (alternate title – This Rough Magic) has received numerous awards and recognition:
- Winner – John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award (NETC) – reading, October 2012
- Winner – Ashland New Play Festival – staged reading, October 2012
- Finalist (1 of 3 and the only American playwright) – STAGE International Script Competition for the best new play about science and technology.
- Finalist (1 of 5) – Reverie Productions (NY) – staged reading, July 31, 2012
- Finalist (1 of 10) – Woodward/Newman Award
- Finalist (1 of 6) – Dayton Playhouse FutureFest – staged reading, July 27-29
- Semi-finalist – Orlando Shakespeare Festival – PlayFest
Based upon the strength of this play, the Actors Studio (NY) has invited Mr. Manley to join their Playwright/Director Workshop program, which provides access to their personnel, resources and space, from the fall of 2012 to the spring of 2013.
Responding to dialog samples, The Public Theater (NY), Trinity Rep (RI), Dan Horrigan (Director, London), Open Fist Theatre (LA), and the Blank Theatre (LA), have all requested the full script, and the first draft prompted Colt-Coeur Studio (NY) to request and organize a weeklong workshop in November, 2011, with Jason Kravits reading the lead role. Resonance Ensemble requested and is funding an Equity workshop in mid September, 2012.
In August, Resonance Ensemble contracted to produce and market a fully-staged production (two-week run) in Manhattan in January, 2013. (For performance information, see New York Times - Arts - Theater Section).
Mr. Manley is the author of three other well received full-length plays, eight one-act and 15-minute plays. He lives in New York with his wife.
You can learn more about Richard Manley by visiting his website at www.RichardManleyPlaywright.com.