Playwright Christopher Durang, at South Coast Repertory in 1996. The writer… (Con Keyes / Los Angeles Times )
One of the highest honors in the field of letters, the PEN Literary Awards, were announced Wednesday, and among the honorees are three playwrights. Christopher Durang is receiving the Master American Dramatist award, while Will Eno and Adam Rapp are being honored in the field of mid-career playwrights.
This year's drama honors were decided by a panel comprised of producer Robert Brustein, New Yorker critic John Lahr and director Stephen Wadsworth.
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony in New York on Oct. 23. (The full name of the drama honors is the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards.)
Past winners of PEN's Master American Dramatist award include Arthur Miller, John Guare, Sam Shepard and David Mamet. Last year's "master" recipient was David Henry Hwang while the mid-career award went to Marcus Gardley.
Durang's plays are often farcical and dabble in the absurd. His best-known works include "Sister Mary Ignatius," "The Marriage of Bette and Boo" and "Beyond Therapy."
This fall, he will reunite with Sigourney Weaver on his new drama "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," which is set to open at the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey in September, followed by a run at New York's Lincoln Center Theatre in October.
Durang was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2006 for "Miss Witherspoon."
Eno's play "Thom Pain (based on nothing)" was a finalist for the Pulitzer in 2005. Rapp was a Pulitzer finalist in 2006 for "Red Light Winter."
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