Wilson nabs playwriting prize

Nov. 21 event will feature reading of winner's new play

“The Story” scribe Tracey Scott Wilson will receive the 2004 Kesselring Prize for playwriting, plus a $15,000 cash prize, from the National Arts Club in Gotham.

The Nov. 21 event will feature a staged reading of Wilson’s new play, directed by Michael Parva.

Wilson was nominated by New York’s Public Theater, where “The Story” was produced in December. Loosely based on the saga of reporter Janet Cooke, play follows an African-American reporter investigating a murder who discovers the gray area between fact and fiction.

Wilson’s other works include “A Small World,” “Exhibit #9,” “Leader for the People,” and “Order My Steps.”

Honorable mention and a $5,000 prize goes to scribe John Belluso for “A Nervous Smile,” nominated by New Dramatists.

Scribes John Guare and Eric Bogosian and Lincoln Center dramaturg Anne Cattaneo chose the winners.

Other nominated playwrights and their submitting theaters were Gina Giofriddo, Actors Theater of Louisville, Ky.; Tom Donaghy, Arden Theater Company; Jessica Goldberg, Atlantic Theater Company; Rinne Groff, Goodman Theater; Joe Hortua, Hartford Stage; Julia Cho, Long Wharf Theater; Victor Lodato, Magic Theater; Theresa Rebeck, McCarter Theater Center; Julie Jensen, Salt Lake Acting Company; Katie Fogette, Seattle Repertory Theater; Jordan Harrison, Soho Repertory Theater; Lucinda Coxon, South Coast Repertory; and Craig Smith, Woolly Mammoth Theater.

The Kesselring Prize, named in honor of “Arsenic and Old Lace” author Joseph Kesselring, was first presented by the National Arts Club in 1980. Previous winners include David Auburn, Tony Kushner, Nicky Silver, Anna Deavere Smith, David Lindsay-Abaire and Philip Kan Gotanda.