Princeton University’s Nathan Alan Davis Wins Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama

Nathan Alan Davis, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Playwright-in-Residence at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University in New Jersey, received the  2021 Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama. The award was established in 2013 and is conferred annually to eight authors in different categories who write in English. The mission of the prizes, which are administered by Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.

Davis’ work was commissioned in 2017 for “The Princeton and Slavery Plays,” part of the Princeton and Slavery Project. In 2018 the LAB at McCarter Theatre Center, in conjunction with The Public Theater, presented his work “Protect the Beautiful Place. His new drama, “The Refuge Plays,” was set to run at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter in spring 2020 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His play “The High Ground is upcoming at Arena Stage.

The judges noted Davis as “an artist whose work fuses depth of feeling and love of language, balancing the profound, the prosaic, and an overwhelming desire to reach through the fourth wall and pull his audiences towards him.”

“To have my work thought of and honored in this way means more than I can say.” Davis said. “This is a truly life-changing moment; I am profoundly thankful.”

Davis is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University Bloomington, and The Juilliard School.


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