“We have always been passionate and active theatergoers for as long as we can remember. We wanted to give back to the theatre community and since everything starts with the writer, we felt we could be most effective by awarding grants to talented playwrights to help foster and develop new plays. Since we believe that London and New York are the theatre capitals of the world, we decided to create an award that celebrates playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc. was founded in 2012 by Dorothy Berwin and Mark Lee.
Founders / Trustees
Dorothy Berwin is an award-winning independent film producer and a passionate champion of talent in the theater and visual arts. Born in London and based in New York, she began her career as an entertainment lawyer before becoming a director of Zenith, one of the UK’s leading TV and film production companies where she worked with the directors Todd Haines, Hal Hartley and Robert Altmann. After founding InFilm Productions in 1995, Berwin produced a succession of critically acclaimed independent films. Bedrooms and Hallways, directed by Rose Troche, won the audience award at the 1998 London Film Festival. On a Clear Day directed by Gaby Dellal with a cast including Peter Mullan and Brenda Blethlyn, opened the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 and won the Scottish BAFTA Award for Best Film. Berwin’s other films include Safety of Objects directed by Troche, adapted from A.M. Homes's book of short stories and starring Glenn Close, Patty Clarkson and Kristen Stewart in her first film role. Berwin joined the Lincoln Center Theater Board in 2011 and the North American Acquisitions Committee of Tate in 2013. She is an ambassador at large for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York.
Mark Lee is a lifelong impassioned theatre devotee and supporter of the arts in addition to his long career in luxury fashion. Mark Lee joined Barneys New York as Chief Executive Officer in September 2010. Prior to Barneys he served as Chief Executive Officer of the global Gucci brand from 2004 to 2008. Lee previously held leadership positions within Gucci Group including Chief Executive Officer of Yves Saint Laurent S.A.S from 1999 to 2004. Lee began his career in the buying office at Saks Fifth Avenue and also served in senior management roles at Jil Sander America Inc. and Giorgio Armani Corporation. Mark Lee was born and raised in San Francisco, CA and moved to New York City in 1980 to attend New York University where he graduated in 1984. Mark was also Co-Executive Producer of the 2011 documentary film Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel.
Tom Kirdahy has been nominated for Tony Awards for his revivals of RAGTIME and MASTER CLASS on Broadway. Additionally, Kirdahy was lead producer of the West End revival of Master Class starring Tyne Daly. Off Broadway and regional credits include American Fiesta (Vineyard Theatre); Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Some Men at Second Stage Theatre (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); Corpus Christ (Rattlestick Theatre). Kirdahy spent nearly two decades as an attorney providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS. He studied politics and dramatic literature at New York University and is a graduate of NYU School of Law. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of the NYC LGBT Center and is a member of the Broadway Leaque. Upcoming projects include Afraid of the Dark, an original thriller on the West End; and Cotton Club Parade on Broadway.
Maria Arena Bell is a television writer and producer who recently founded her own production company, Vitameatavegamin Productions, to develop projects for feature film, television and new media. Bell is the Emmy Award winning former head writer and executive producer of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. She also serves on many art and philanthropic related boards including Americans for the Arts, PS Arts, The Melanoma Research Alliance, amongst others. She has severed as the co-chair for the board of trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art for the past four years, as well as co-chairing MOCA's successful fundraising galas and the search for its director, Jeffrey Deitch. Bell was most recently appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission.
Sandra Brant is a key figure in the publishing, art, fashion, and entertainment worlds. In the course of a remarkably diverse career Brant was also President/CEO of Brant Publications, Inc., and Publisher of Interview, Art in America, and The Magazine Antiques (1984-2008). She is the International Editor of Vanity Fair Italy, Vanity Fair Spain, and Vogue Germany. In 1988—Brant published Eric Fischl, (Stewart Tabori & Chang) a monograph on the artist Eric Fischl, which remains the definitive source on the artist’s early work. Brant has been a member of the Board of Trustees for the Dia Art Foundation since 1989. Sandra Brant was educated at the University of Colorado and UCLA. She has been a pioneer collector of Art Deco objects and an esteemed collector in the areas of Pop art, contemporary art, American furniture, and American primitive paintings. She has also been a patron of important American architecture and interior design.
Dominic Cooke is a theatre director and playwright. For The Royal Court: The Low Road, In the Republic of Happiness, Choir Boy, In Basildon, Chicken Soup with Barley, Clybourne Park (& Wyndham’s); Aunt Dan & Lemon, The Fever, Seven Jewish Children, Wig Out!, Now or Later, War & Peace/Fear & Misery, Rhinoceros, The Pain and the Itch, Other People, Fireface, Spinning into Butter, Redundant, Fucking Games, Plasticine, The People Are Friendly, This is a Chair, Identical Twins. Other Theater Includes: Comedy of Errors (National); Arabian Nights, Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, The Crucible, Postcards from America, As You Like It, Macbeth, Cymbeline, The Malcontent (RSC); By the Bog of Cats (Wyndham’s); The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (Gate, Dublin); Arabian Nights (Young Vic/UK & World Tours/New Victory Theatre, New York); The Weavers, Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria (Gate); The Bullet (Donmar); Afore Night Come, Entertaining Mr Sloane (Clwyd); The Importance of Being Earnest (Atlantic Theatre Festival, Canada); Caravan (National Theatre of Norway); My Mother Said I Never Should (Oxford Stage Co./Young Vic); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Bolton Octagon); Of Mice and Men (Nottingham Playhouse); Autogeddon (Assembly Rooms). Opera Includes: The Magic Flute (WNO); I Capuleti E I Montecchi, La Bohème (Grange Park Opera). Awards Include: Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Director and Best Revival for The Crucible; TMA Award for Arabian Nights; Fringe First Award for Autogeddon. Dominic was the Artistic Director of the Royal Court 2007-2013, Associate Director of the Royal Court 1999-2002, Associate Director of RSC 2002-2006 & Assistant Director RSC 1992-1993. Dominic is an Associate Artist of the RSC.
Gary Garrison serves as executive director of the Dramatist Guild of America, the national organization of playwrights, lyricists, and composers. Prior to his work at the Guild, Mr. Garrison was a full-time faculty member in the Department of Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he produced over forty-five festivals of new work, collaborating with hundreds of playwrights, directors and actors.
Joyce Hytner previously served as Head of Development at the Royal Court Theatre, which is Britain’s leading national theatre company dedicated to promoting new work by innovative writers from the United Kingdom and around the world. She currently serves as a board member for the Old Vic, Royal Court and Criterion Theatres and serves as a board member for the Hightide Festival and the Manchester International Festival.
Cherry Jones is an actress who has spent most of her career on Broadway. She won the 1995 Tony Award for best leading actress in a play for her performance in The Heiress and the 2005 Tony Award for best leading actress in a play for her performance in Doubt, Her other Broadway credits include Imaginary Friends, Angels in America, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Our Country’s Good. She is considered to be one of the foremost theatre actresses in the United States.
Mel Kenyon currently works as a theatrical agent with Casarotto, Ramsay & Associates. Her many awards winning clients include Simon Stephens, Caryl Churchill, Howard Brenton, Dennis Kelly, David Greig and Frank McGuinness.
Donna Murphy is a two time Tony and Emmy award winning actress. Theatre credits include Fosca in Stephen Sondheim’s PASSION(Tony Award, Best Actress in a Musical); Anna in The King and I(Tony Award, Best Actress in a Musical); The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985); Birds of Paradise (1987); Privates on Parade (1989); Hello Again (1993): Twelve Dreams (1995); Helen (2002); Wonderful Town(Tony nomination, Best Actress); The People in the Picture(Tony nomination, Best Actress); and Into the Woods (2012).
John Tiffany is an award-winning theatre director. Tiffany's theatrical background is in "developing and directing new plays at Scottish theaters." He directed the highly regarded 2006 production of Black Watch. He has been an associate director at the National Theatre of Scotland. He directed the off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Once in 2011-2012 and won the 2012 Tony Award for best direction of a musical. He has recently directed a production of The Glass Menagerie at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA in 2013 with Cherry Jones.
Thank you for your interest in Berwin Lee. Please note that we do NOT accept play submissions. Please do not send as they will not be read and they will not be returned. Thank you.