Philadelphia Theatre Co. announces winner of New Play Award

Jenny Graham

Congratulations to Bill Cain, the first winner of the Philadelphia Theatre Company's Terrence McNally New Play Award. In its inaugural year, the award kicks off the play-reading festival PTC@Play and comes with a $10,000 prize and a year of support from PTC, including readings. 

Cain (pictured above), who is also a Jesuit priest, won for his play "Unvarnished," about Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins ("The Gross Clinic"). This is not the first time Cain has worked with PTC. Last year, he developed his "How to Write a New Book for the Bible" at PTC@Play. 

Cain's award is named after Tony award-winning playwright Terrence McNally who has premiered four works - "Master Class," "Golden Age," "Some Men" and "Unusual Acts of Devotion" - at PTC, PTC has also produced Philadelphia regional premieres of "Love!Valour!Compassion!," "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" and "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune."

“Bill Cain is a playwright whose increasing recognition nationally is proof of the progress that all of us playwrights have to make in our careers,” McNally said in a statement.  “His play about Thomas Eakins, who persevered despite many obstacles, including humiliation and rejection even in his hometown of Philadelphia, is the kind of subject that the Terrence McNally New Play Award hopes to continue to honor in the future.”