Congratulations to playwright Tammy Ryan for her recent win of the American Theatre Critics Association’s 2012 Francesca Primus Prize for her play “Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods.” Originally developed through a staged reading supported by a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund, “Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods” has gone on to full productions and will soon be published by Dramatic Publishing Company.
Rob Wennemer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more:
Tammy Ryan was so affected by the sight of a Sudanese boy graciously sharing his papaya with a Pittsburgh woman in Whole Foods in 2004 that it set the stage for her next play.
Thursday, she won the American Theatre Critics Association’s 2012 Francesca Primus Prize for “Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods.”
“Seeing him share his favorite fruit with the woman was a powerful image,” she said. “I was amazed by his kindness, especially after finding out what he has experienced in his life.”
The play tells the story of a friendship between Gabriel, a former “Lost Boy” who completed the 800-mile walk from Sudan to Kenya when civil war broke out in the early 1990s, and Christine, a middle-age middle-class white woman.
Gabriel survived on only a bowl of grain a day for 10 years in Kenya before being moved to the United States. He met Christine while working in the produce section of Whole Foods.
Ms. Ryan, of Shadyside, will receive $10,000 as part of the national award that is presented annually to “an emerging woman theater artist,” according to the ATCA.
She was chosen by a nationwide committee of well-recognized critics and beat out 21 other women competing for the award.
“It hasn’t sunken in yet,” she said. “I am very thankful for the support from Pittsburgh Playhouse, the actors, Shelia McKenna, my longtime collaborator, and all the others who have believed in me.”
Read the full story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.