Filmmaker and playwright, Kenneth Lonergan, will be awarded the Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award by PEN America, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He is the first person to receive this award. This award is given in honor of the late director, Mike Nichols, who directed notable movies such as The Graduate and plays such as Barefoot in the Park.
Lonergan is said to have embodied some of the characteristics Nichols had such as creating unique artistic material that has affected the public and participating in different art forms. He has directed films such as Margaret and You Can Count on Me. Most recently, he is known for helming the film, Manchester by the Sea, which received many awards during the 2017 award season. Nichols is also one of only 15 people who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award.
PEN hopes to recognize the expansion of writing to different types of art such as filmmaking and performance. PEN president, Jennifer Egan, said, “The Literary Awards program is one of PEN America’s crown jewels. With more and more writers working powerfully across genres, it’s a special joy to recognize performance as a literary form…”
Lonergan receives this honor on February 26 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.