Local playwright honored for work


Marilynn Barner Anselmi


Staff Writer

Monday, June 17, 2019

A local playwright is the recipient of a prestigious international award for political plays.

Marilynn Barner Anselmi's play "Mitigating Damages" has been picked as a winner in the 2019 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Playwriting Contest.

The global contest recognizes plays focusing on political themes and is sponsored by The Castillo Theatre in New York City.

"Mitigating Damages" is about tough choices made by a pregnant teenager.

The contest is judged by a team of distinguished theater artists. For a decade, the contest has encouraged the writing of scripts for the stage that engage the political, social and cultural questions affecting the world today or historical events and issues that impact on our heritage, according to information provided by the Castillo Theatre.

Barner Anselmi in August will attend a staged reading of her play and receive the award in person.

"I'm honored by this award," Barner Anselmi said.

The award tops a growing list of accolades Barner Anselmi has racked up. Her plays have received dozens of awards since 2012.

Her play "Seven Bridges Road," based on the real-life slayings of Rocky Mount women a decade ago, was presented April 22 at The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif.

The presentation was developed by The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series, which allows playwrights to work with local directors, actors and professional staff on the development of the script.

Shelagh McFadden, literary manager at The Blank Theatre, called the play "highly relevant and meaningful work."

Another of Barner Anselmi's plays, “You Wouldn’t Expect,” premiered off-Broadway last year at the Chain Theatre in New York City.

Barner Anselmi wrote the script for the short movie "Learning Man," which was filmed in 2017 at Rocky Mount Mills. The narrative short was an official selection at the 2018 Longleaf Film Festival, Indigo Moon Film Fest and several others.