• Broadway Beat

Playwright Excited to Win Literally Any Award At All

by Edward Precht. @PertoltPrecht.

CHATTANOOGA, TN - It was announced this morning that the the coveted Prender Award for Writing Good has been awarded to local young playwright Todd Szlachetka for his play WHITE MAN.


“I’m touched and honored to receive this award,” Szlachetka said while slowly stepping down from the ledge of a building. “Honestly, I’m just happy to win anything. Anything at all. Any one thing”


The Prender Award for Writing Good was established in 2017 to recognize and reward exceptional writers in District 5 of the Greater Chattanooga area. Previous recipients include 7 year-old Sarah Koen for her nonfiction essay How I Spent My Summer Vacation and a cat that looked a little like Antonin Artaud.


"Szlachetka was this year’s winner because of his impressive dedication to the art of the banal,” according to founder John Prender. “Plus, he was the only applicant.”


As is the case with many emerging playwrights like him, Szlachetka, 46, is ready for his big break.


“I submit as much as I can - local awards, regional, national, whatever. Sometimes I’ll enter sweepstakes on the backs of cereal boxes. Nothing. One time I got a personalized letter from SPACE on Ryder Farm, asking me to ‘stop sending them stuff.’ I framed it. It counts.”


The Prender Award for Writing Good does not come with a cash prize or any other benefits, but does “look nice in 12-point Times New Roman on a small resume,” per their website.


Szlachetka’s WHITE MAN will be a part of the 2019-2020 season at New York’s own Westside Theater, because they’ll produce literally anything.