dawn renee jonesGoddard MFA alumna (’14) Dawn Renee Jones is the winner of the Southern Rep Theatre’s 2015 Ruby Prize for her play, A Heap See.

Named in honor of American activist Ruby Bridges, the Ruby Prize is presented annually to a woman playwright of color. As the Ruby Prize winner, Jones will receive a $10,000 cash prize, as well as a ten-day writer’s residency at Hedgebrook and a workshop and reading of her play in New York City.

The 2015 Ruby Prize review panel included nationally recognized theatre makers such as Maria Goyanes, Daniel Alexander Jones, and Niegel Smith. Panelists responded to the intrepid, theatrically adventurous worlds of winner’s and finalists’ work.

From the press release:

“Koua, young Hmong mother of six, has immigrated to Minnesota after living for years in squalid Thai refugee camps. Determined to give her children all the tools for success, her efforts are constantly challenged by her husband and his family. As Koua’s family life becomes more violent, Anita, her next door neighbor, is torn between calling the police, offering Koua sanctuary, or minding her own business.

“Dawn Renee wrote and produced print and broadcast advertising in Chicago and New York before pursuing her interest in theatre. She has directed main stage productions at Actors Theatre of St. Paul, Penumbra Theater, At the Foot of the Mountain Theatre, Women’s Theatre Project, and Starting Gate Theatre in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where she was also the founder and Artistic Director of Alchemy Theater. Dawn Renee studied Film Production at The New School, which led her to produce and direct music videos for Motown, Tabu, Flyte Time, Warner, and Paisely Park records. Her screenplay Man of the Word won Best Screenplay at the New York Film Columbia Film Festival (2008). Dawn Renee received an MFA in Creative Writing with emphasis in Playwriting from Goddard College in 2014.”

Congratulations, Dawn Renee!