Charlottesville, VA, March 6, 2019. Playwright Sean Michael McCord has been awarded the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting (NPATP) Award by the Kennedy Center for his full-length play MOVING. This award comes with a cash prize, membership in the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis, an invitation to attend the National Festival at the Kennedy Center April 16 through 19, and a professional development summer residency. McCord’s play was nominated from among eight Kennedy Center college regions for the national award.
MOVING tells the story of several couples over thirty years as they move in and out of a single apartment in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The story was inspired by some of McCord’s own adventures as a struggling Hollywood screenwriter after graduating from the UCLA Film School. The play was first developed as a staged reading for the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where McCord is pursuing his MFA in playwriting.
Todd Ristau, Program Director of the Hollins Playwright’s Lab, noted: “We’re very proud of the recognition this play is receiving, and how that success reflects on the graduate playwriting program at Hollins. I’ll be directing a full production in January of 2020 as part of the Hollins-Mill Mountain Theatre Winter Festival of New Works. You learn the most about a play when you are in production and I’m really looking forward to helping Sean continue to develop the piece in rehearsal.”
McCord plans to start his MFA thesis play at Hollins this summer. “It’s been an amazing journey,” said the writer. “Moving was the first full-length play I wrote after my initial year at Hollins, utilizing all the tools I was given in my early classes, and it has continued to follow me in my development as a playwright.”
McCord, who is an A/V Engineer at the University of Virginia Library, also thanks his employer for the opportunity for professional growth. “UVA supports higher learning, and they’ve made it possible for me to pursue my own graduate degree through their generous staff educational benefits program. I am equally grateful to the Library for allowing me the time off in the summer to go live in Roanoke for six weeks and make theater with my Hollins cohort.”
MOVING premiered in Charlottesville in 2017 as the inaugural production of the Charlottesville Playwrights Collective, a theater company started by McCord and other local playwrights dedicated to the production of new works by Charlottesville writers. In addition to this national award, MOVING also won the Southeastern Theater Conference 2018 Charles M. Getchell New Play Award and the 2019 David L. Shelton Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region IV.
Contact: Sean McCord