The Paul Green Award
Selected by the recipient of the Person of the Year Award, The Paul Green Award recognizes and encourages excellence in new professional theatre talent and is presented to a young theatre artist.
The Paul Green Foundation
The Paul Green Award is made possible by a grant from The Paul Green Foundation, established in 1982 to perpetuate the vision of playwright and activist Paul Green.
Paul Green (1894-1981) was a remarkable man: Dramatist Laureate of North Carolina, humanist, Hollywood screenwriter, essayist, professor of philosophy and drama at the University of North Carolina, novelist, poet, singer and writer of songs, human rights activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for the Broadway production, In Abraham’s Bosom. He is considered the “father of symphonic outdoor drama” with his production in 1937 of The Lost Colony. He went on to write 16 more outdoor dramas. Paul Green founded the Institute of Outdoor Drama and today there are more than 50 historical outdoor dramas being produced all across the country.
From 1941-42 Paul Green served as President of the National Theatre Conference and served on the Executive Committee in 1944 and 1945. He was on the drama faculty at the University of North Carolina, one of the 1925 original theatre department organizers of what was to become the National Theatre Conference.
In 1981, Paul Green died at age 87 leaving a legacy of literary works and good works that touch the lives of many thousands of people. In 1982 the Foundation was formed to carry on his work, and each year the Trustees award grants in the areas of the arts and human rights.
2022 - Esperanza Rosales Balcárcel
Esperanza Rosales Balcárcel (they/them) is a trans Guatemalan-American artist, born in Guatemala City and raised in Norwalk, CT. Selected plays include Spring on Fire: A Guatemalan Story(Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award Semi-Finalist), Crashing, Color Boy (Carlotta Festival), Lupe Finds Me in the Garden of Dreams(Langston Hughes Festival), and When the Party’s Over (TheatreWorks Next Generation Festival). Esperanza’s plays have been supported by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Roundabout Theatre, Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Stanford Department of Theater and Performance Studies. Esperanza has worked with The Public Theater, HBO, United Talent Agency, and was a 2017 Teach for America corps member, serving in Huntington Park, CA as a 5th Grade ELA teacher for 120 students. Most recently, they formed a collective with other Queer Black and Latinx artists at Yale, who were then selected as Producing Artistic Directors for the 2022 Yale Summer Cabaret. 'The Collective' produced the first season ever dedicated to new play productions and workshops by Queer BIPOC writers called Summer of Love and in one summer raised over $30,000 for their artists. Esperanza is the recipient of the Princeton Ward Prize for Fiction, the A. Scott Berg Fellowship for English Research, the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Scholarship, and now the Paul Greene Award from the National Theatre Conference. Their writing is mentored by Anne Erbe, Brian Herrera, Christina Anderson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sarah Ruhl, and Tarell Alvin McCraney, amongst others. They are a proud FGLI (First Generation Low-Income) student and a former ESL learner as well. All their words are in honor of their mom, who made the brave choice to leave Guatemala in hopes of a better life in America. May these plays reach a young writer one day and encourages them to tell their story. BA: Princeton (’17), MFA: Yale (’23).
2019 - Jeremy O. Harris is a writer and performer living in New York City. His plays include Slave Play (NYTW), Daddy (Vineyard/The New Group), Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1 and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys (published by 53rd State Press). His work has been presented or developed by Pieterspace, JACK< Are Love, The New Group, NYTW, Performance Space New York and Playwrights Horizons. In 2018, Jeremy co-wrote A24’s upcoming film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. In television, he is developing a pilot with HBO and consulted on their new series Euphoria. He is the 11th recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Playwrighting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist and under commission from Lincoln Center Theatre and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwrighting Program. Upcoming: A Boy’s Company Presents: Tell Me If I’m Hurting You (Playwrights Horizons) and Daddy (Almeida).
2018 - Tori Sampson’s plays include If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons, 2019), This Land Was Made (Vineyard Theatre, 2018), and Cadillac Crew (Yale Repertory Theater, 2019). Her plays have been developed at Great Plains Theatre Conference, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor residency program, Victory Garden’s IGNITION Festival of New Plays, Playwrights Foundation, and Ubuntu Festival. Tori is a 2017–18 Playwright’s Center Jerome Fellow and a 2018-19 Mcknight Fellow. Two of her plays appeared on the 2017 Kilroys List. Her awards and honors include the 2016 Relentless Award, Honorable Mention; the 2016 Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting from The Kennedy Center; the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, Second Place; the Alliance Theater’s 2017 Kendeda Prize, Finalist; the 2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Finalist. Tori is currently working on commissions from Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Atlantic Theater Company. She holds a BS in sociology from Ball State University and an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. torisampson.com
2001: Kathleen Early
2000: Kate Levering
1999: Hamish Linklater
1998: Deborah Baley Brevoort
1997: Kevin Cunningham
1996: Laura Hembree
1995: Tim Sheridan
1994: Shay Youngblood
1993: Suzan-Lori Parks
1992: Mark Brokaw
1991: Amie Brockway
1990: Peter Parnell
1989: Tracy Copeland & Garrett Dilhunst
1988: Jennifer Rohn
1987: Clark Gregg