2009 Playwriting Award Winner Announced

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The Essential Theatre is pleased to announce that Vynnie Meli’s play JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS has been chosen as the winner of the 2009 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award competition. Vynnie will receive a cash prize of $600.00 and her play will be produced as part of the Essential Theatre’s 2009 Power Plays Festival, to be presented in July of 2009 at the Actor’s Express performance space.

The story of JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS centers on the members of an all-female jazz band, touring through the Deep Sou th during World War Two. The musicians are all African-American except for one Jewish woman, who has to disguise herself to fit in with the rest of the group, at a time when “mixed-race” bands weren’t tolerated anywhere in the United States. (This was also a time when women weren’t commonly accepted into the all-male world of jazz music.)

With the most submissions we’ve ever received, it was exceptionally difficult to make our final decision this year. The Essential Theatre would like to thank all the playwrights who sent us their work, and we’ll be doing our best to contact each of them individually.

Peter Hardy
Artistic Director
Essential Theatre