Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson are among the theater artists who’ve earned 2016 honors from the Dramatists Guild of America.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (center) as Alexander Hamilton. Photo: Joan Marcus/The Public Theater
Lin-Manuel Miranda (center) as Alexander Hamilton. Photo: Joan Marcus/The Public Theater

The Dramatists Guild, a professional organization for playwrights, composers and lyricists working in the United States, will present the awards Feb. 22 in New York.

Miranda, a 2008 Tony Award winner for In the Heights, earns the Frederick Loewe Award for dramatic composition for Hamilton, his acclaimed new musical, which fuses contemporary and classic sounds to tell the story of the man on the $10 bill and founding father Alexander Hamilton. Miranda, who plays Hamilton onstage, wrote the show’s book, score and lyrics. Loewe, of course, is the composing half of the musical-making team Lerner and Loewe, responsible for Brigadoon, Camelot, My Fair Lady and others.


Gunderson, whose award-winning drama I and You opens Jan. 29 at Aurora Theatre and is running in New York now, earns the Lanford Wilson Award, presented to dramatists “based primarily on their work as an early-career playwright.”

Gunderson’s work has been seen in New York, regionally and in Atlanta, including — EMILIE: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (Weird Sisters Theatre Project); Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Synchronicity Theatre); and Silent Sky (Theatrical Outfit). The Revolutionists, her fact-based drama about four real women during the French Revolution, opens March 3 at 7 Stages.

"I and You" at Aurora: J.L. Reed and Devon Hales. Photo by Chris Bartelski
Gunderson’s “I and You” opens March 3 at Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre with  J.L. Reed (left) and Devon Hales as classmates. Photo: Chris Bartelski

I and You won the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award from the American Theatre Critics Association.

The other Dramatists Guild award winners are:

Career achievement: Stephen Schwartz and Marsha Norman. Schwartz wrote the words and music for Godspell, Pippin and Wicked. Norman wrote the drama ’night, Mother, and the words and/or lyrics for The Bridges of Madison County, The Color Purple and The Secret Garden.

Hull-Warriner Award: Stephen Adly Guirgis for his Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Between Riverside and Crazy about a white cop who shoots an older, off-duty black cop, echoing recent events in Ferguson, Mo., and New York. This award, the only one given by dramatists to dramatists,  recognizes plays that deal with controversial subjects involving politics, religion or the social mores of the time.

Flora Roberts Award: Dael Orlandersmith, an actress, poet and playwright, is known for her Obie Award-winning Beauty’s Daughter and her 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist Yellowman. The award goes to a dramatist in recognition of distinguished work in the theater and to encourage the continuation of that work.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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