Playwright David Davalos and journalist Retta Blaney have been named recipients of 2011 “The Lights are Bright on Broadway” Awards presented annually by Masterwork Productions, Inc. to individuals and organizations making a difference in the Broadway community through faith.
Davalos is being honored for his play Wittenberg, a witty battle of wills and philosophies between Dr. Faustus and Martin Luther as they attempt to influence star pupil Hamlet at 16th-century Wittenberg University. The play was presented March 11 - April 17 by Off-Broadway’s Pearl Theatre Company. It also received the 2008 Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and will have its London debut at the Gate Theatre this September. Davalos also is the recipient of the National Theatre Conference’s 2008 Stavis Playwriting Award. He is a graduate of the theatre programs of both the University of Texas and Ohio University. Some of his other plays include Daedalus: A Fantasia of Leonardo da Vinci; The Tragedie of Johnnius Caerson (a comedy in blank verse chronicling the Late Night TV Wars) and Darkfall (a modern sequel to Paradise Lost).
“I'm so gratified (and relieved!) by Wittenberg's receiving The Lights Are Bright on Broadway Award as it offers confirmation that the play's engagement with the question of faith is resonating with audience members who have a real stake in the issue,” Davalos said. “It has always been my hope that the play would speak meaningfully to the ‘Lutherans’ in the audience as much as it does to the ‘Faustians’ one tends to see in abundance in the theatergoing community -- this award helps me to believe that may indeed the case.”
“I am honored to receive the Lights Are Bright on Broadway Award on behalf of all those who have taken part in this event and helped it to reach its 15th anniversary,” Blaney said. “I started Broadway Blessing in 1997 to bring people together to celebrate theater and also to offer comfort and encouragement to those who make their living in the challenging world of show business.”
Previous recipients of “The Lights are Bright on Broadway” Awards are Kia Corthron for her play A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick (Playwrights Horizons), Max McLean for The Screwtape Letters (Westside Theatre), Dan Gordon for his play Irena's Vow on Broadway and Radio City Rockette Cheryl Cutlip, founder of Project Dance.
Masterwork Productions, Inc. is a faith based, non-profit performing arts organization, which among other services, provides the only resource for professional Broadway and Off-Broadway theater reviews with an added Christian perspective.