Oregon Play Prize

T|R|S seeks out thrilling new work from writers around the country. To these exciting artists, we provide developmental support through commissions, readings workshops and productions.

The Oregon Play Prize focuses this energy on a writer with deep roots in Oregon. Selected through a highly competitive process that gives our audiences and community the ultimate voice in awarding the prize, this writer receives a $10,000 commission.

2016 Award Winner: Steve Rathje, Signs

The Oregon Play Prize was first awarded in 2016 to Steve Rathje for his play Signs. Signs is a surrealistic comedy about love, purpose and the little things that seem to matter so much to us. April reads horoscopes. Lydia writes horoscopes. April reads them devoutly, using them to guide her life choices. Lydia just makes them up, using the money she makes from them to support herself while she completes her novel. Signs follows the story of April who writes metaphors for a living — whenever an author is having trouble thinking of a creative, evocative metaphor, the metaphor is outsourced to her. One day, April discovers the “perfect metaphor” — a marvelous yet dangerous creation, a comparison so perfect that it renders other forms of communication meaningless. Eventually, April comes in contact with Lydia, an all-too-familiar force who has been transcribing April’s fate through her horoscopes all along. After Lydia and April meet, the story turns upside down.

Signs was a finalist for Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 2016 National Playwrights Conference, has had two readings at Stanford University, and won the Oregon Play Prize in 2016.

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