“I am confident this award will help identify the next generation of American playwrights who understand the special power of theatre to transform hearts and minds and that Philadelphia Theatre Company will continue to be a welcoming venue for them.”

-Terrence McNally

About the Terrence McNally Award

Terrence McNally’s storied collaboration with Philadelphia Theatre Company included four McNally world premieres (Master Class, Unusual Acts of Devotion, Golden Age, and Some Men), underscoring Terrence’s long-standing commitment to Philadelphia’s vibrant cultural scene and thriving community of artists.

As a continuation of that commitment, as well as Terrence’s personal commitment to supporting early-career playwrights, Terrence McNally and PTC (under Artistic Directors Sara Garonzik, Paige Price) created the Terrence McNally Award, which supports one Philadelphia-based, early career playwright with financial resources and a public reading of their play at PTC. Past McNally Awardees have included Pulitzer Prize-winner James Ijames, Bill Cain, A. Zell Williams, Martín Zimmerman, Donja R. Love, and Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters. Philadelphia has long been a home for outstanding new plays, and the Terrence McNally Award is designed to materially support and uplift outstanding Philadelphia playwrights.

Under the new stewardship of Artistic Directors Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky, and working closely with the Terrence McNally Foundation, the legacy of the Terrence McNally Award proudly continues with a renewed focus on identifying the most promising early-career playwrights in Philadelphia and championing the incredible artistry, diversity, and talent found in this city.

The Terrence McNally Award is a two-year program awarded once every other year (i.e. this cycle is 2024-2025, the next cycle will be 2026-2027). Over the course of two years, the winning playwright will receive a cash award of $10,000, as well as dramaturgical support, access to the PTC community, career development, and ultimately a public reading of their play with professional actors and director in the Spring of 2025 (exact date to be determined in consultation with playwright).

The Terrence McNally Award is one important way that PTC continues to invest in the cultural foundations of our home and ensure that Philadelphia can be the birthplace of great art and artists for many years to come. We are grateful to Terrence McNally and the Terrence McNally Foundation for their help in creating this vital opportunity for Philadelphia writers to develop their work and advance their careers.

We are so proud of our shared history with Terrence McNally and hope you will consider being a part of this history too. Applications and eligibility for the 2024 Terrence McNally Award can be found here.

2024 Terrence McNally Award Winner

MK Tuomanen

Congratulations to MK Tuomanen for winning the 2024 Terrence McNally Award for their play, Night Science.

MK Tuomanen (they/them) is a current Jerome Fellow at the Playwright’s Center. Named “Best Theater Artist” in Philadelphia Magazine in 2015, they are the 2017 recipient of the F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award. Their solo work includes Consider the Cow (subCircle, Playwright’s Center), Hello! Sadness! (Kimmel Center Independence Studio, FringeArts) and Saint Joan, Betrayed (Annenberg Center). Other work includes: Marcus/Emma (premiered InterAct, nominated for several Barrymores including Best New Play) and Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3, winner of the Virginia Brown-Martin Philadelphia Award). They are a member of Applied Mechanics, and an associated artist with Bearded Ladies Cabaret.

Supported by
The Terrence McNally Foundation