Boston University Alumna Honored With National New Playwrights Award For Tragi-Comedy “Training Wisteria”

Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240 |

(Boston, Mass.) – Boston University alumna Molly Smith Metzler was recently awarded the Kennedy Center’s 2003 American College Theater Festival’s National Student Playwriting Award for her tragic-comedy “Training Wisteria.” Metzler is a 2002 graduate of the Creative Writing Program in Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (BPT). This is the second year in a row that a graduate of the GRS Creative Writing Program and the BPT has won this major national award for new playwrights. Ronan Noone (GRS’01) won the same national award from the Kennedy Center last year for the BU production of his play “The Lepers of Baile Baiste.”

As a result of the award, the BU production of “Training Wisteria,” originally staged at the BPT last October in collaboration with Boston University College of Fine Arts’ student actors, was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center this past April. Metzler, now an instructor in the Boston University College of Arts and Science undergraduate Writing Program, also received a $2,500 prize, publication of her play, and a residency at the Sundance Institute this summer in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In addition to her Kennedy Center Award, Metzler also won two major awards based on readings of the play: The David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award given for the first time to a student-written play by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education based on the strength of her “Training Wisteria” script, and the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award, which is offered for the best student-written full-length comedy play. Metzler, who recently signed with agent Susan Gurman of the Gurman Agency in New York City, will have her play published this spring by Dramatic Publishing.

Founded by the Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in 1981, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre is a home theatre for playwrights to develop new work. The BPT has become a center for new plays in New England and, according to artistic director Kate Snodgrass, is run by playwrights for playwrights. Boston University is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 students in its 17 schools and colleges.