Skip to main content

Playwright wins Horton Prize for excellence in American theatre

Northwestern University’s Zayd Dohrn has won the prestigious Horton Foote Prize for excellence in American theater for “The Profane,” as reported by the New York Times this week.  

Named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Horton Foote, Jr., the prize is awarded to two American playwrights for new plays every two years. Each prize recipient also receives $20,000.

A celebrated playwright and screenwriter, Dohrn is associate director of the School of Communication’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing for the Screen and Stage. He also serves as associate professor in the department of radio/television/film and associate department chair.

“The Profane, ” which will premiere at Playwrights Horizons in New York in March, focuses on two immigrant families forced to deal with each other’s cultural traditions and religious beliefs when their children fall in love.

Dohrn’s plays, including “Muckrakers,” “Outside People,” “Want” and “Reborning,” have been produced across the country and internationally. Dohrn currently is writing screenplays for or Bedlam Productions, the American Film Company, and Vox3 Films. He also is developing a television series for Showtime and the Sundance Channel.

Among Dohrn’s numerous awards are the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award and the Sky Cooper American Playwriting Prize.

Foote, for which the prize is named, is best known for his films “To Kill A Mockingbird” (1962) and “Tender Mercies” (1983).