Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Smith Prize for Political Theater
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 11:20 am EDT 06/23/22

Davila is the latest recipient of a commission designed to support the creation of new plays that examine the American body politic.

National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays, is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2022 Smith Prize for Political Theater: writer, performer, director, comedian, and dramaturg, David Davila.

Davila's winning proposal outlines "a dramedy that tackles the issues of NAFTA head on by examining a plastics company from the Midwest that opens up a plant in Mexico. The play [will] follow the lives of several employees both North and South of the border as they're affected positively and negatively by the endless amount of ripples that change the course of their lives after NAFTA."

Author Tim Smith, for whom the prize is named, said, "Mr. Davila's play is, in a sense, a play about gentrification along international borders, and at its heart spurns capitalism as the core evil that has led to displacement, economic oppression, racism, and more. I have long said, unbridled capitalism is the reason for much of what is wrong with humanity, and is the largest contributing factor to humanity's and now the Earth's suffering."

Davila is the 17th recipient of the Smith Prize for Political Theater, established in 2006 by Timothy Jay Smith and a group of socially conscious donors to encourage emerging playwrights to tackle the pressing issues of our times. The $5,000 Prize is awarded annually as a commission, chosen by the Network, from proposals by NNPN or Member Theater-affiliated early-career writers for a play that examines the American body politic. NNPN also compensates a Member Theater up to $2,500 for a developmental workshop of the play, and provides an additional $2,500 to the first NNPN Member to fully produce the resulting work. Previous Smith Prize winners include George Brant (Grounded), Jacqueline Goldfinger (Babel - a Lambda Literary Awards finalist), Martín Zimmerman (White Tie Ball), Tearrance Arvell Chisholm (Uncle Vanye), and Pulitzer Prize-winner Martyna Majok (Ironbound).

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