For most people, Mondays suck, but not for playwright Kristoffer Diaz who got to do triple the celebrating this past Monday. First, The New York Times crowned him as the 2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright, and then The Public Theater in New York awarded him with the first Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowship that same day.
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For most playwrights, this would be reason enough to go heavy on the champagne, but Diaz has another reason to celebrate. As part of his fellowship at The Public, he'll pen two new works for the theater and Dallas Theater Center, which collaborated with The Public for 2009's The Good Negro and Giant for DTC's upcoming 2011-2012 season.
Diaz scored a Pulitzer nomination, a Village Voice Obie Award and Lortel Award for his satire of the wrestling world, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and he's also the playwright-in-residence at Teatro Vista in Chicago. It's a big score for DTC, and Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty offered his praise for Diaz in a press release sent by DTC yesterday:
"Kris Diaz creates highly theatrical, deeply insightful and extraordinarily entertaining work. His ideas speak directly to contemporary audiences," says Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. "These things make Diaz a perfect fit for Dallas Theater Center. We are excited to work with The Public to debut two new works from this talented playwright and to engage Dallas audiences in new, unexpected ways."
DTC has also commissioned works from other talented playwrights including 2010 Meadows Prize recipient Will Power, Aaron Lobe and Kim Rosenstock, whose Tigers Be Still will premiere at DTC during the 2011-2012 season.