Georgette Kelly

Grand Prize Winner

GEORGETTE KELLY is a playwright with one foot in New York and the other in Chicago.  Her play Ballast was featured on The Kilroys List 2015 and was chosen as a finalist in the 2015 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.  Georgette’s other plays include Faith in a Fallen World, In the Belly of the Whalehow to hero or the subway play, and an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson’s Lighthousekeeping.

Her work has been developed by The Kennedy Center, The National New Play Network, The DC Source Festival, The Alliance Theatre, terraNOVA Collective, Taffety Punk, Diversionary Theatre, Capital Stage, TOSOS, Prologue Theatre, New Leaf Theatre, and Chicago’s DCASE.  She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and a member of 2014-2015 TerraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, The Dramatists Guild of America, and Writers WorkSpace.   Georgette holds a B.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly. 

Kelly comments, “I am thrilled to receive this prize from the ‘Hope and Optimism Project’.  The foundation's financial support is extraordinarily meaningful to me at this moment in my career--it will allow me new flexibility to travel, research, and pursue playwriting opportunities in a way that would not otherwise have been possible.  I'm also very grateful for the chance to bring my play, I Carry Your Heart, to productions on both coasts.  Overall, I'm deeply moved by both the mission of this contest and by its generous gifts to my career.  Thank you so much!”