Neukom Institute Announces 2023 Playwriting Award Winner

Jessica Moss

Jessica Moss’s Instagirl has won the 2023 Neukom Institute Literary Award for Playwriting for its unique portrayal of social media and influencer culture. It comes with a $5,000 cash prize.

The play angel’s share by New York City-based artist Dominic Finocchiaro was named a finalist. This year’s winner and finalist came from a shortlist of nine plays selected from 111 submissions.

“We are delighted to see the continued tremendous interest of the theater community in the Neukom award,” said Dan Rockmore, director of the Neukom Institute and a professor of math and computer science who created the award program. “It is so exciting to see the thoughtful and creative work that is being sent in response to the call and gratifying to be able to support this work at the nexus of the arts, humanities, and computation.”

The emotional feminist comedy Instagirl focuses on a house of Instagram influencers and their perpetual struggles in pursuit of fame and success. Their agency brings an influencer powered by artificial intelligence into the house in a final attempt to revive their dwindling careers. But her arrival rips open the facades these young women keep up and probes into what lies at the core of authenticity and humanity.

Finocchiaro’s angel’s share takes place in the (not too) distant future where a deceased loved one can be “archived” and digitally “resurrected” via another person. The play centers on a couple who grapples with the consequences of using this technology for their recently deceased son. Finocchiaro’s poetic piece outlines a sorrowful, yet hopeful journey undergone by parents in their search for solace.

Nine additional plays were selected as honorable mentions: Trans World by Ty Defoe; Porn: A Love Story by Jen Diamond; This is Half a Play by Pedro Eler de Carvalho Eiras; ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD by Somebody Jones; PROTOCOL 116 by Tess Light; We Borrowed Brokenness by Yilong Liu; Polar Bear Society by Meghan Maugeri; CLICK Accept by Suzy Ridenour; and PRETTY PERFECT LIVES by Gage Tarlton.

[Based on a press release.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.