On Sunday, April 19 the Ebell will present a reading of “A Singular They,” by Aliza Goldstein, the winner of the 2015 Ebell Playwright Prize. Susan Isaacs will direct the reading which will be followed by a celebratory supper. This is the second year the Ebell has awarded three prizes to women playwrights.
Ebell member Cynthia Comsky, Chairman of the Ebell Playwright Prize Committee, revived the contest originally established in 1928. Known then as The Ebell Drama Contest, the prize lay dormant for the next 85 years until two years ago.
Then as now, the purpose of the prize is to encourage, inspire, and celebrate California women playwrights.
“The Ebell celebrates all the women who entered this year’s Ebell Playwright Prize,” said Comsky. “California is rich with very talented women playwrights. A very special congratulations to the winners Aliza Goldstein, Paula Cizmar and Val Stulman.”
As the first-prize winner, Goldstein is awarded $6,000 and a staged reading, followed by supper at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles. Second-prize winner “The Chisera” by Paula Cizmar received a $1,000 award. “Triggers” by Val Stulman won the third-prize $500 award.
“I am tremendously grateful to the Ebell,” said Aliza Goldstein who acknowledges that she’s a lot younger and less experienced than the writers whose plays won second and third place. “This is a huge confidence boost to put something out there and have others say it’s good,” said Goldstein.
Goldstein graduated in 2013 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she double majored in dramatic writing and anthropology and wrote the first draft of “A Singular They” as her senior thesis. She was the recipient of the 2013 John Golden Undergraduate Playwriting Award, a faculty-selected honor. Prior works include “Izzy Icarus Fell Off the World,” which won the 2007 VSA Playwright Discovery Award and was produced at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, as well as “Other People’s Garden Gnomes,” a Young Playwrights Inc. 2010 National Playwriting Competition finalist play. Other honors include: Winner, Blank Theatre Company’s Young Playwrights Festival (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011); Finalist, Thespian Playworks (2008, 2009). After a stint as a transcriber for reality television, Goldstein is currently a writer for a multiplayer online video game, where she spends a lot of time writing about aliens and pushing a feminist agenda.
To be eligible for the contest, playwrights were required to be women residents of California and all submitted plays had to be full length, unpublished and unproduced. To maintain anonymity of the submitting playwrights so that decisions were made solely on the basis of the playwright’s writing craft, play titles and the names of the playwrights were removed from each of the 55 submissions before they were submitted to readers for evaluation. All plays were read at least twice and evaluated on a rubric scale before advancing to the next level. Ultimately nine semi-finalists were read by the final judges: Anne Gee Byrd, Andi Chapman, Debra Cardona-Depeahul, Annie Potts and Beegie Trusdale.
The staged reading of “A Singular They” will be followed by a light supper at the Ebell Club. The reading is free to the public. To purchase tickets to the supper, visit the Ebell Club.“A Singular They” Directed by Susan Isaacs Sunday, April 19, 2015 5 pm – reading, followed by light supper Tickets: $35/Ebell Members, $40/non-members The Ebell of LA 741 S. Lucerne Blvd Free parking across the street