John J. Caswell, Jr. has been named the recipient of the 2020–2021 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, which will be presented at The Vineyard's re-imagined Emerging Artists Virtual Salon October 21 at 5 PM ET via Zoom. The residency-based award is given annually to an emerging writer of exceptional promise and comes with a cash prize and artistic development support.
Caswell, Jr. is the 13th recipient of Vineyard Theatre's award, named in honor of playwright and teacher Vogel, whose plays Indecent, the Pulitzer-winning How I Learned to Drive, and The Long Christmas Ride Home premiered at the Off-Broadway company. Previous recipients include Charly Evon Simpson, Jeremy O. Harris, Antoinette Nwandu, Kate Tarker, Boo Killebrew, Clare Barron, Christopher Chen, Erika Sheffer, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kara Lee Corthron, Rajiv Joseph, and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Caswell, Jr. is a queer, Mexican-American playwright originally from Phoenix, Arizona, and a current fellow in Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. He is the winner of the 2020 Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, a 2019 Relentless Award Finalist, a 2018 MacDowell Fellow, a 2018 SPACE on Ryder Farm Creative Resident, a current member of Play Group at Ars Nova, and the 2017 Page 73 Playwriting Fellow. His play SHOTS: A Love Story was published as part of Johnny Saldaña's book Ethnotheatre: Research From Page to Stage.
Following the award presentation, 2019 Paula Vogel Award recipient Charly Evon Simpson will sit down with Caswell for a virtual Q&A. Tickets to the event are available here.