PITTSFIELD -- Playwright Daniella De Jesus is the $25,000 Grand Prize winner of Barrington Stage Company's 2021 Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award for "Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back."
In addition, the play will receive a staged reading and a possible full production.
The Burman Award also is presenting $5,000 prizes to Miki Kim for "After the Fall," and to Laura Winters for "Just the Melody." Both plays will receive staged readings at BSC.
Founded in 2018, the Burman Award is presented to unproduced full-length works that are wholly original and not adaptations or translations of existing works.
“It’s crucial to all of us at Barrington Stage to help develop new voices and new plays,” said Barrington Stage Company's founding artistic director Julianne Boyd. “That’s why the Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award is especially welcome, by supporting new, original plays by emerging artists.”
Additional finalists included "Lyons Pride" by Bleu Beckford-Burrell; "Flood" by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, You’re Crazy by Steph Del Rosso, "Campaign" by Laura Jacqmin, 2020: a going-away-party play by Keyanna Khatiblou; and "Spare Rib" by Winter Miller.
In addition to Boyd, the adjudication panel included Ken Cerniglia, dramaturg; Deadria Harrington, producing artistic leader of Harlem-based The Movement Theatre Company; Eric Keen-Louie, producing director of La Jolla Playhouse in Southern California; and Natasha Sinha, associate artistic director at Playwrights Horizons in New York.
Burman New Play Award Project Coordinator was Megan Nussle.
De Jesús is an actor/writer from Bushwick, Brooklyn. A member of The Public Theater’s 2018-19 Emerging Writers Group, her plays include "Mambo Sauce," "Pa’ Ti Tengo De Todo," "Untitled Puppet Show" and "The Thief Cometh." She is the creator of the new web series “Talk To Me” on IGTV. As an actor, she is best known for her role as Zirconia on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” De Jesús is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama.
"Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back" is described as "a dark comedic exploration of the insidiousness of colonization." While studying abroad in Spain, Solandra, a young Dominican-American woman, finds herself alone in the throne room of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, whose portraits come alive, transporting her to 1492. Meanwhile, on the island of what we now refer to as “hispaniola,” Anacaona awakens, terrorized by a violent nightmare, which she soon learns is prophetic.
Kim is a native Hawai’ian playwright. She received an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her play, "A Tita, ABroad," a one-woman show about moving to the continental United States from Hawai’i, was the recipient of two Los Angeles Dramalogue awards. Her screenplay, "Fixing Jane," was a finalist in VisionFest and the Houston Comedy Festival. As an actor, she has worked with Milwaukee Rep and the California Shakespeare Festival. "After the Fall" was selected for a staged reading at the Blank Theatre in Hollywood and also was the winner of the 2019 Austin Film Festival
The play is described as "a poignant, funny and provocative look into the lives of “collateral damage in the years following Vietnam and the Secret War in Laos. Vietnamese and Hmong civilians, and the generations that follow, are forced to silently carry the unrelenting horror and scars of war."
Winters is a playwright and screenwriter working in New York and Los Angeles. In addition to "Just the Melody," her full-length plays include "Gonzo," "Emerson Losing Her 'Miand,'” "Coronation," and a play for children -- "Space Mission #5379: Saving Rachel, Nevada."
In "Just the Melody," a potential couple, Lucy and Alfonso, have a lot in common including the fact that they are quadriplegics who use text-to-speech technology to speak. Their mothers see only differences. With Lucy’s 18th birthday looming, she grows desperate to find a way to date Alfonso and assert her independence.