The Robert Chesley Awards for Lesbian and Gay Playwriting honor the memory of playwright Robert Chesley (1943–1990), the author of Night Sweats, which in 1984 became the first produced full-length play to deal with the AIDS crisis.
For many years, these awards were presented at our awards ceremony, and a list of those winners is presented below. After the Publishing Triangle’s 2007 awards ceremony, the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation, the administrator of these awards, took its awards program in another direction, one that no longer involved a public presentation.
The Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation has continued to support playwrights of queer theater. These days it honors writers whose work is making a substantial contribution to LGBTQ culture via providing a residency at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. For more information visit www.chesleyfoundation.org.
During the years the Chesley Awards were presented in conjunction with the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation gave prizes under various names, including for emerging writers and Lifetime Achievement. The winners in this era were:
Lifetime Achievement, Eric Bentley
Emerging Playwright, Chris Weikel
Playwriting, Kathleen Warnock
Playwriting, Megan Terry
Lifetime Achievement, Michael Kearns
Emerging Playwright, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas
Playwriting, Rebecca Ranson
Playwriting, Jane Shepard
Playwriting, H.M. Koutoukas
Playwriting, Rev. Alvin Carmines Jr.
Emerging Talent, Christopher Shinn
Emerging Talent, Shelia Callaghan
Lifetime Achievement, María Irene Fornés
Playwriting, Jeff Weiss
Playwriting, Madeleine Olnek
Playwriting, Chay Yew
Playwriting, Paula Vogel
Lifetime Achievement: Robert Patrick
Lifetime Achievement, Susan Miller
Playwriting, Victor Lodato
Playwriting, Lisa Kron
Lifetime Achievement, Doric Wilson