Fayetteville, AR (14 June 2017) – The winner of the University of Arkansas Department of
Theatre’s Kernodle New Play Award for 2017 is Barbara Hammond for her play VISIBLE FROM FOUR STATES. The reading committee—composed of faculty members, graduate students, and area theatre-makers also named Mia McCullough’s play Wisdom From Everything as a finalist. The contest, named in honor of UofA faculty member George Kernodle, had over 150 submissions in 2017 demonstrating the abundant diversity of new work being created by playwrights across the country.
VISIBLE FROM FOUR STATES is a lyrical drama that elegantly contemplates the intersection of commerce and faith. The play weaves together the plights of a struggling town that fights to stay on the map in contemporary America, while the residents confront their feelings about the death penalty as the prison up the road approaches its first execution in years. These themes and issues resonated deeply with our committee, and pushed Ms. Hammond’s play to the forefront.
Barbara Hammond is a playwright living in New York, and is currently under commission from the Royal Court Theatre. Her plays have won recognition and awards from many national and international sources, including New Dramatists, the National Endowment of the Arts, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and more.
Ms. Hammond’s play will receive the $500 award and be given a workshop as a part of the Arkansas New Play Festival at TheatreSquared on Friday, June 16, 2017 5:30PM at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR and Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 4:30PM at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville. Ms. Hammond is in residence to workshop the play. For details regarding these public readings as well as the Arkansas New Play Festival see.
Through the Kernodle Award, the Department of Theatre supports and encourages the creation of new work for the American stage. While we look to reshape the criteria for the Kernodle Award in 2018 to meet realistic staff and administrative capabilities, we continue to be advocates for new work in the future. Please visit our website for updated submission criteria for 2018 Kernodle New Play Contest.