Orlando resident Rob Winn Anderson has won the 2012 Christopher Brian Wolk Award from New York's Abingdon Theatre Company for "The Tenth Son."
Anderson will be presented with his award, which comes with $1,000, on Monday, Dec. 10, in New York City.
Abingdon's Christopher Brian Wolk Award is presented annually to an American writer of a full-length play not produced in New York City. The award is based upon the writer's demonstrated ability to reach a mature artistic vision using theater.
As part of the award ceremony, "The Tenth Son" will be given a staged reading, directed by Jules Ochoa.
"The Tenth Son" was nominated along with five other scripts from nearly 400 play submissions submitted to Abingdon during its 2011-2012 season. A five-member selection committee, including actors, directors, playwrights, determined the winning script. Anderson's script was chosen through a blind selection process through which the judges did not know the name or other identifying information about the playwrights of the nominated scripts.
Locally, Anderson has directed such plays as "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at Mad Cow Theatre, "James and the Giant Peach" at Orlando Repertory Theatre" and "Steppin' Out With Irving Berlin," currently running at the Winter Park Playhouse.
In addition to his theatrical work, he is also a noted theme-park director who works with Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.
"The Tenth Son" takes place in the summer of 1722 and looks at the turbulent relationship 16-year old Benjamin Franklin has with his older brother, James, and the intense passion he has found in the arms of somewhat older Mary Beekman.
When James attempts to restrain what he considers Ben's growing arrogance, Ben, with Mary's help, challenges him. In doing so, Ben becomes embroiled in a battle of medicine, religion and political manipulations. He must rely on all of his instincts to stealthily maneuver his way onto the pages of James' newspaper, The New England Courant, stand toe-to-toe with an influential Puritan minister and outwit two men determined to stir the pot and control, not only the paper, but Boston as well.
Abingdon Theatre Company, celebrating its 20th season, is led by artistic director Jan Buttram and managing director Samuel J. Bellinger. Abingdon is dedicated to developing and producing new plays by American playwrights.
The prize has been given annually since 2001. The award is named after Christopher Brian Wolk, an actor, musician, singer, writer and composer who died in an accident in National Glacier Park, Montana. Wolk had worked extensively with Abingdon.
Works by Anderson that have previously been honored include:
• "A Tennessee Walk" – Winner, 2011 SART ScriptFEST competition; 2012 Southern Playwrights competition; Finalist, 2009 Yale Drama Series Award; Semi-Finalist, The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.
• "A Fine Line" - Finalist, Lark Play Development Conference.
• "The Locker" - Finalist, The Heideman Award from the Actors Theatre of Louisville;
• "Broad Strokes" – Finalist, The O'Neill Theatre Center's National Music Theatre Conference (2011, 2002); Finalist, The New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Anderson was one of four playwrights chosen worldwide to participate in the Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency in October of 2003 under Eric Bogosian. He also is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center's Directors Lab, the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive, Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Great Plains Theatre Conference.
The award ceremony takes place on Monday, Dec. 10, in the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th St., New York, N.Y.) beginning at 7 p.m. A reception will follow the staged reading. The ceremony is open to the public free of charge.
For more information about Abingdon Theatre Company go to http://www.abingdontheatre.org.