Ryan J. Haddad has won the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award for the 2021–2022 season. The playwright and performer is known for his works that explore the intersection of queer identity and living with a disability (Haddad has cerebral palsy), with highlights including Hi, Are You Single?; Good Time Charlie; Dark Disabled Stories; Hold Me in the Water; and My Straighties.
The Off-Broadway company’s Emerging Artists Celebration, set for November 12 at the Broken Shaker Cocktail Bar at Freehand, will honor the theatre artisit. Tina Satter, creator and director of Is This A Room, and Emily Davis, who plays Reality Winner in the show on Broadway, will host the event. Following the award presentation, and continuing with the tradition of a conversation with the previous year’s recipient, John Caswell, Jr. will sit down with Haddad for a Q&A.
Haddad most recently wrote the libretto for an episode of Boston Lyric Opera’s streaming miniseries desert in and contributed as a writer-performer to Signature Theatre’s The Watering Hole, created by Lynn Nottage and Miranda Haymon. His solo show Hi, Are You Single? was presented at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and subsequently produced for a pandemic-era streaming presentation at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with IAMA. The show will return for an in-person staging at some point in 2022.
Elsewhere, Haddad's work has been staged and developed all over America, including at Berkeley Rep, The Bushwick Starr, and Ars Nova. The performer has also appeared on the Netflix series The Politician and been seen in the cabaret show Falling for Make Believe at Joe’s Pub.
Haddad is also a recipient of IAMA Theatre Company’s Shonda Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission and Rising Phoenix Repertory’s Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award. He is an alum of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow, and a former Queer|Art Performance and Playwriting Fellow, under the mentorship of Moe Angelos.
The Paula Vogel Playwriting Award is named in honor of the playwright and teacher, whose plays Indecent, How I Learned To Drive (coming to Broadway next spring), and The Long Christmas Ride Home premiered at The Vineyard. The residency-based award is given each year to an emerging writer of exceptional promise, and comes with a cash prize and artistic development support.
In addition to Caswell, Jr., the previous recipients of the award are Charly Evon Simpson, Jeremy O. Harris, Antoinette Nwandu, Kate Tarker, Boo Killebrew, Clare Barron, Christopher Chen, Erika Sheffer, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kara Lee Corthron, Rajiv Joseph, and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Tickets to the event are available at VineyardTheatre.org.