Actress and emerging playwright Ngozi Anyanwu recently won first place for the inaugural Humanitas/Center Theatre Group (CTG) Playwriting Prize for her play Good Grief. The award is presented to the best new unproduced play written by a Southern California-based writer and comes with a cash prize of $5,000.
Anyanwu’s play follows the story of “Nkechi,” or “N” a first generation Nigerian girl, and her misadventures of first love, loss, and the people, including her childhood best friend, her brother the ghetto philosopher, and her Nigerian immigrated parents who “try and help her get over it, around it and through it.” Good Grief is Anyanwu’s first play, which she started writing while still a student at the University of California-San Diego. In a recent statement she said, “I’m excited for the support that an institution can bring, and I’m interested in seeing what that means for the play.”
Anyanwu is an actress, writer, and producer who received an MFA in acting from the University of California-San Diego. She is the founder of the 1st Generation Nigerian Project, where she served as artistic director. Anyanwu is currently the co-artistic director of NOW AFRICA’s Playwrights Festival and a recipient of the Djerassi Artist Residency. She’s also served as a production assistant for the National Black Theatre production of Dead and Breathing.
As part of the prize, Good Grief also will be developed by CTG’s literary staff and presented in staged readings at the Humanitas Play Fest, Celebrating Southern California Playwrights that will run February 12–14.
The second place prize was awarded to Dan O’Brien and third place was Louisa Hill who both received $2,000. O’Brien was recognized for his play, The House in Scarsdale and Hill received the award for her play, Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers.
The winner and two runners-up will also be announced at the annual Humanitas Prize ceremony on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at the Directors Guild.
Cynthia Erivo Nominated for BAFTA’s Rising Star Award
Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo, known for her transformative performance as Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple is now one of five actors nominated for the British Academy of Film’s 2019 Rising Star Awards.
Most recently seen alongside Viola Davis in Steve McQueen’s Widows, Erivo says:
“I’m ever grateful to BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award. It means the world to me to be acknowledged by the community that, for most of my life, I’ve known as home. Thank you for this incredible honour.” – Cynthia Erivo
The BAFTA Awards will take place on February 10th.
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