Congratulations to Kristoffer Diaz, winner of the 2023 Blue Ink Award for Things With Friends.

As part of the award, Diaz receives a $2,500 cash prize, a staged reading at American Blues Theater, and the opportunity to further develop his script with our artists.

Kristoffer Diaz notes, “It’s truly an honor to receive this year’s Blue Ink Award. Wendy Whiteside and American Blues have been an important part of my career dating back to before I even really had a career to speak of. It’s fantastic to come full circle. Even though my life and work are based on the east coast these days, I’m proud to consider myself a Chicago playwright.”

“We are thrilled to announce Kristoffer Diaz as the 2023 Blue Ink Award winner,” notes Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. “Diaz’s voice resonates through every page. He has the ability to surprise through character descriptions and actions, word choice, punctuation, and reveals details only as needed.”

About Things With Friends

Manhattan. Burt and Adele are hosting a dinner party. Steak is on the stove. The George Washington Bridge has collapsed into the Hudson. Kristoffer Diaz has written a play about it. I’ve already said too much.

About Kristoffer Diaz

KRISTOFFER DIAZ is a playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and educator. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Other full-length titles include Welcome to Arroyo’s, Reggie Hoops, Hercules, and The Unfortunates. His work has been produced, commissioned, and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, ACT, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among many others. Awards include the Guggenheim, Jerome, Van Lier, NYFA, and Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowships; New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; Lucille Lortel, Equity Jeff, and OBIE Awards; and the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant, among others. As a screenwriter, Kristoffer has developed original television pilots for HBO and FX, written for the first season of Netflix’s GLOW, and adapted the musical Rent for FOX. Kristoffer teaches playwriting at New York University. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a member of its Board of Directors, and the current secretary of the Dramatists Guild Council.

Other 2023 Blue Ink winners

2023 Featured Finalists: Audrey Cefaly (Trouble), Victor Lesniewski (Cold Spring), Gloria Majule (Uhuru).

2023 Finalists: Amanda L. Andrei (Mama, I wish I were silver), Kimberly Dixon-Mays (When Given a Choice, Bleed), Emma Gibson (LUMIN), Keiko Green (Hells Canyon), Monet Hurst-Mendoza (Blind Crest), Deepak Kumar (House of India), Matthew Libby (Sisters), Tlaloc Rivas (DIVISIDERO), Nia Akilah Robinson (The Great Privation: How to flip ten cents into a dollar), Elaine Romero (Hoverland), Marcus Scott (There Goes The Neighborhood), SEVAN (You, The Fire, and Me), Liba Vaynberg (The Matriarchs), LaDarrion Williams (Bridging the Gap).

2023 Semi-Finalists: Jaisey Bates (Real Time remix), Cris Eli Blak (Brown Bodies on a Blue Earth), Brendan Bourque-Sheil and Madison Smith (Dogrose Patrol), Laura Maria Censabella (Beyond Words), Aaron Coleman (Tell Me I’m Gorgeous at the End of the World: The Last Gay Play), Nelson Diaz-Marcano (When the Earth Moves, We Dance), Ramón Esquivel (¡O Cascadia!), Gina Femia (lisa; a fantasia), Alyssa Haddad-Chin (Off-White; Or the Arab House Party Play), Darrel Alejandro Holnes (Franklin Ave), Jessica Kahkoska (In Her Bones), M.J. Kang (The Battle of Saratoga), Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (stop killing black people), Zizi Majid (They Came In The Night), Eric Marlin (and come apart), Josie Nericcio (619 Hendricks), Peter Pasco (Yoli, Alfredo, y la vida), Jason Gray Platt (Homeowners), Audley Puglisi (The Misplaced Saints), Andre R. Hogan II (The Hot Wing Special), Iraisa Ann Reilly (Saturday Mourning Cartoons), Lia Romeo (Greek Tragedy), Phillip Christian Smith (Riverside Drive), Jonathan Spector (Best Available), Gina Stevensen (Breakfalls), Steven Strafford (The Model Congressman), Ellis Stump (Once on Rumspringa), Caridad Svich (Joan of the Dockyards), James Anthony Tyler (Into the Side of a Hill), Hope Villanueva (Brackish), Mary Weems (Crack the Door for Some Air), Deborah Yarchun (Great White).

About the Blue Ink Award for playwriting

The nationally-renowned Blue Ink Award was created in 2010 to support new work. Since inception, we’ve named 13 Award winners, 129 finalists, and 203 semi-finalists. Nearly $10,000 in cash and prizes will be distributed to playwrights in 2023.

Each year American Blues Theater accepts worldwide submissions of original, unpublished full-length plays. The winning play will be selected by Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and the theater’s Ensemble. The 2023 winning playwright receives a monetary prize of $2,500. Cash prizes are awarded to finalists and semi-finalists too.  All proceeds of the administrative fee are distributed for playwrights’ cash prizes.

Submissions for the 2024 Blue Ink Award open August 1, 2023. All submissions must be received by American Blues Theater by August 31, 2023 at 11:59pm. Playwrights may only submit one (1) manuscript each year for consideration.


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