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George C. Wolfe, Emily Mann and Jocelyn Bioh among Dramatists Guild 2024 award recipients

The artists will be honored in May.

(L-R) George C. Wolfe, Emily Mann and Jocelyn Bioh (Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for LACMA; Bruce Glikas/Getty Images; JD Barnes)

The Dramatists Guild of America, the professional association for playwrights, librettists, lyricists and composers, has announced winners of its annual awards. The honors will be feted on May 6 at Sony Hall. Final Draft, creator of the Final Draft playwriting software, will co-present the ceremony.

In addition to the previously announced Christopher Durang, George C. Wolfe and Emily Mann will receive the Lifetime Achievement award. 

Director and playwright Wolfe has received 10 Tony Award nominations for directing, winning in 1993 for the play “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” and in 1996 for “Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk,” becoming one of a handful of people to win for directing both musicals and straight plays. He served as the Public Theater’s artistic director from 1993 to 1994. 

Mann’s Main Stem playwriting credits include 1986’s “Execution of Justice” and 1995’s “Having Our Say.” Mann enjoyed a 30-year tenure as artistic director and resident playwright of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey, which presented the world premiere of Durang’s Tony-winning comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

The Hull-Warriner Award, which acknowledges an author whose work deals with “controversial subjects involving the fields of political, religious or social mores of the times,” will be given to Jocelyn Bioh for her play “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding.” “Jaja’s,” which played a twice-extended limited run at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from October to November 2023, follows the daily dreams, joys and challenges of a group of hair stylists and their customers at a Harlem salon.

Finalists for the Hull-Warriner Award include Eboni Booth (for her Off-Broadway play “Primary Trust”), Rebecca Gilman (“Swing State”), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (“The Comeuppance”) and Qui Nguyen (“Poor Yella Rednecks”). 

Booth and Shayan Lotfi (“What Became of Us”) will also be honored with the Horton Foote Award,  which  acknowledges dramatists “whose work seeks to plumb the ineffable nature of being human.”

Adam Guettel will receive the Frederick Loewe Award, which recognizes achievement in a theatrical score presented on or Off-Broadway in the prior calendar year, for his “Days of Wine and Roses.” The musical, which played both Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company in 2023 and a limited run on the Main Stem, marked a reunion for Guettel with book writer Craig Lucas, with whom Guettel collaborated on 2005’s “Light in the Piazza.” Guettel won Tonys for Best Original Score and Orchestrations for “Piazza.”

Actor, director and playwright Austin Pendleton’s six-decade career in the theater will be honored with the Flora Roberts award, which aims to recognize “distinguished work in the theater and to encourage the continuation of that work.” Pendleton made his Broadway debut as Motel in the original Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1964. Since “Fiddler,” Pendleton has racked up numerous Main Stem directing credits, including the 1981 revival of “The Little Foxes,” for which he received Tony nomination, and 2022’s “Between Riverside and Crazy.” In December 2023, Pendelton appeared in an Off-Broadway revival of “The Night of the Iguana,” directed by Mann.

The Lanford Wilson award, which recognizes playwrights in the early stages of their career, will be bestowed to Seayoung Yim and Minna Lee.

The Guild’s award ceremony will feature “Stereophonic” playwright David Adjmi, Nissy Aya, Dave Harris, Mara Isaacs, Jacobs-Jenkins and Robert O’Hara as presenters. The musical trio Bandits on the Run will perform.