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Two Playwrights Earn $40k in Prize Money for Fellowship for Performing Arts Inaugural Clive Awards Playwriting Competition

Friday, 02 February 2024 02:10 PM


Contest Seeks to Encourage Theatre from a Christian Worldview;
Award Includes a Staged Reading of Each Work

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / February 2, 2024 / After a yearlong process attracting hundreds of new play submissions from around the world, Fellowship for Performing Arts announces the winners of the inaugural Clive Awards!

"It is so important to encourage writers to create theatre from a Christian worldview to compete in the wider marketplace of art and ideas," said FPA Founder and Artistic Director Max McLean. "And we have the visionary generosity of our donors who supported this inaugural awards program to thank."

The winners and their works include:
First Prize recipient, Mike Solomonson, writes to explore characters who struggle against repressive societal forces or personal circumstances that compel them to grapple with their own moral codes. A Dramatists Guild member, his full-length play The Goodbye Levee debuted in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Playhouse on the Square in 2022 as a winner of their NewWorks@TheWorks competition. It also was a 2019 finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference. Mike lives in Arizona.

In Big Pearls and Small Hips, the world-famous and brilliant Clare Boothe Luce, who has it all, yet still feels morally and spiritually lost. She confronts Monsignor Fulton Sheen in her usual brash style, seeking answers to her thorny questions. Clare and Sheen forge a bond that demands they confront the deceit and pain they each have kept hidden in their lives. Based on their true story and full of famous figures of the early 20th century, the play uses wit and pathos to delve deep into eternal questions about suffering, sin, and repentance.

Second Place recipient, Joe Borini, is a former journalist who earned a Masters in Fine Arts in playwriting from the Actors Studio School of Drama at The New School in New York. Joe's plays have been produced in Virginia, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Rome and Melbourne. His one-act comedy, Homecoming, was published in Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope All-Story in 2001 and was produced in Los Angeles as part of Worldly Acts. Joe was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2006 Playwrights Conference and is a member of the Actors Studio and the Dramatists Guild.

In Tiger Takeout, a young delivery man, trapped in an elevator, has a life-changing theological encounter with a 400-pound Bengal tiger. The tiger evokes a modern-day Aslan, as he engages the young man in a remarkable journey of self-discovery on the path to both physical and spiritual rescue. This fresh and innovative play is at times hilarious and, ultimately, deeply moving.

Under the leadership of FPA Literary Manager Christa Scott-Reed, The Clive Awards competition drew high-quality submissions from both experienced and aspiring playwrights. These intense, provocative, humorous and dramatic scripts confirm what the FPA family has long known, namely that the Christian worldview is a rich vein of ideas to discover, explore and develop through the theatre arts.

"The quality of submissions was beyond our expectations," said McLean. "These intense, provocative scripts reveal that, despite rumors to the contrary, the tenets of the Christian faith are being lived, argued over, tested and defended vigorously. These plays were exciting to read!"

Next up for our winners is the collaborative process of preparing their plays for a staged reading later this year or in 2025.

Named in honor of Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis, submissions for the competition were accepted from Jan. 31, 2023, to Aug. 31, 2023. From the hundreds of submissions, a field of six finalists was selected, then the two winners and a $25,000 first prize winner and a $15,000 second prize winner. Both plays also will receive a developmental reading and, possibly, more. For more information, visit

About Fellowship for Performing Arts

Founded by Artistic Director Max McLean, Fellowship for Performing Arts is a New York City-based production company whose mission is to produce theatre and film from a Christian worldview. In addition to annual seasons at Theatre Row in New York City, it produces national tours of major performing arts venues and university theatres. McLean is a recipient of the C.S. Lewis Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement and received an Equity Jeff Award, Chicago theatre's highest honor.

Among its many recent New York and national touring productions are The Screwtape Letters (just completing its fifth national tour in December 2023), The Great Divorce, The Most Reluctant Convert, Martin Luther on Trial, Paradise Lost, Shadowlands and A Man For All Seasons. A film version of The Most Reluctant Convert premiered in North America and in the U.K. in November 2021 and has since been seen worldwide in over 130 countries.

FPA is currently on tour with its newest play, C.S. Lewis On Stage: Further Up & Further In. For more information visit


Noelle Rhodes | Southside Entertainment
[email protected] | 212-582-2920

SOURCE: Fellowship for Performing Arts

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