April 24, 2019
For the third time in six years, Portland, Oregon playwright Andrea Stolowitz has won the Oregon Book Award in drama.
The award program honors the state’s finest accomplishments by Oregon writers, who work in genres of poetry, fiction, drama, literary nonfiction and literature for young readers.
Stolowitz received the 2019 award for "Successful Strategies", which transposes a French farce by Marivaux to a Willamette Valley vineyard just before the grape harvest. The play was described by judges Elizabeth Engleman, Cusi Cram and Robert Caisley as “hugely entertaining and nimble-witted.” The judges further write, “Stolowitz smartly exchanges the original setting of empaneled 18th century rooms for the sun-shot vineyards of the Willamette Valley.” Stolowitz describes the play as “a uniquely Oregonian take on love and wine making.” “Successful Strategies” world-premiered at the Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene, OR in February 2018.
Stolowitz is a member playwright at New York City’s prestigious New Dramatists, a core member at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and Artists Repertory Theater’s Lacroute Playwright-in-Residence. Stolowitz earned the same honor in 2015 for her play "Ithaka" which is about returning women combat veterans, and in 2013 for "Antarktikos" which is about reaching closure when loved ones die.
Stolowitz says good writing is often overlooked because theaters are so concerned about their financial bottom line. But Stolowitz adds, “awards such as these offer artists much-needed validation about their plays’ true worth.”
This year, Stolowitz is working on a new play commission for Artists Repertory Theatre called Recent Unsettling Events about free speech and identity politics on a college campus, a new opera with Luna Pearl Woolf about the mother’s of kidnapped journalists, and a musical about the real-life towns in Kentucky and Massachusetts who came together post-election to create mutual understanding. Andrea will also be collaborating on a new project with Hand2Mouth Theatre in Portland.
Stolowitz has an MFA in playwriting from the University of California, San Diego and teaches dramatic writing at Willamette University.