Harold Ellis Clark
NEW ORLEANS, LA – Harold Ellis Clark of Gretna, LA has been named one of two finalists for the 2013 Stanley Drama Award for his play, Tour Detour. This year’s winner, Brian Mulholland of Cincinnati, OH for the play, The Return of Tartuffe, Rob Winn Anderson of Orlando, FL for the play, The Tenth Son, who’s the other finalist, and Clark, will all be honored during a reception Monday, March 18th at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South (20th Street), Manhattan, NY at 6 p.m. Veteran playwright David Ives, writer of Venus in Fur, a 2012 Tony Award nominee for best play (actress Nina Arianda won the 2012 Tony for best actress for her role in Ives’ Broadway hit), will present the awards.
Mulholland receives a $2,000 monetary prize as well as the distinction of joining an illustrious list of past Stanley Drama Award winners that include playwrights Lonnie Elder III (Ceremonies in Dark Old Men; Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Sounder), Jonathan Larson (Tony Award-winner for Rent), and Terrance McNally (Tony Award-winner for Ragtime). The award is offered for an original full-length play or musical that has not previously been professionally produced or published. Judges include a variety of faces from the New York theatre community including artistic directors, literary agents, and producers. This year marks the Stanley Drama Award’s 56th anniversary.
Tour Detour is set four months before the 2008 U.S. presidential election. A son, just prior to embarking on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan, visits his father who's serving a life sentence at a Central Louisiana prison. They haven't seen each other in twenty-six years.
Clark penned numerous unpublished novels and unproduced screenplays over 18 years. He began writing plays a few years ago at the suggestion of a local actor who praised his talent for writing dialogue. The plays include Marrero Action (produced at the Anthony Bean Community Theatre in 2011), Fishers of Men (produced at Dillard University’s Cook Theatre in 2012), and Tour Detour. He’s currently editing the rough draft of the play, We Live Here.
He adapted Marrero Action from his identically titled unpublished novel for which he was named one of eight finalists for the 2007 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Prize. Fishers of Men was adapted from his screenplay, The New Saints, and in 2000 Clark’s script, Urban Realities, was made into a short film starring Mykel Shannon Jenkins (ABC’s Ugly Betty; CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful). It aired as the 10th installment of New Orleans Access Television’s critically-acclaimed Short Story Theater series. Chummy’s Spirit, his independently published novel, topped the best-seller’s list for four weeks in 2006 at Barnes & Noble in Harvey, LA.
Cast and creative team for FISHERS OF MEN: Martin "Bats" Bradford ("Dabarrow", seated left), Harold Ellis Clark (standing left), Oliver Thomas ("Bishop Perriloux", seated center), Al Aubry ("Deacon Job", standing center), John Grimsley (director/set designer, standing right), and Damien Moses ("Vic", seated right). Photo by Jim Belfon