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UNH Theater Lecturer Wins Playwriting Contest

Release Date:
5/29/2014 12:00 AM

May 29, 2014

Jonathan Yukich, features Jonathan Yukich

WEST HAVEN, Conn. -- Jonathan Yukich, a lecturer in theater at the University of New Haven, has been named the 2014 winner of the Shubert Fendrich Memorial Playwriting Contest by Pioneer Drama Service.

Yukich was recognized for his contemporary play “Alice@Wonderland.”  His work has been produced across the United States and in Canada, Australia, South Africa and Europe. Pioneer Drama Service, located in Denver, is one of the largest play publishing and licensing companies in the U.S.

Jonathan Yukich, Alice@Wonderland
Alice's original production at St. George's School in Newport, RI.

“This is yet another honor for a faculty member who is not only a superb practitioner but also an excellent teacher and guide,” said Lourdes Alvarez, dean of the UNH College of Arts and Sciences.

Alice@Wonderland is a modern retelling of the classic children’s story based on the book by Lewis Carroll.  Although the play includes all the familiar characters, Alice is distinctly contemporary, complete with cell phone in hand. 

The adaptation has been praised for its humor, modern style and appeal to both children and adults. It has had more than 55 full productions world-wide since its publication last October.  Because of its popularity, a musical version of the play “Alice@Wonderland:The Musicalwas commissioned and released in January.

Steven Fendrich, publisher and CEO of Pioneer Drama Service, said  the award is given to encourage the development of quality theatrical materials for the educational, community and children’s theatre markets.  

“We were quite enchanted with the way you brought together a contemporary, tech-savvy Alice with a surprisingly traditional retelling of Lewis Carroll's story," he told Yukich in announcing the award.

Yukich has received a number of awards and honors, including the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award for Playwriting.  His work was recently named a finalist for the 2014 Humana Festival and a semi-finalist for the 2014 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

Before coming to UNH, Jonathan taught a range of theatre and writing courses at the City University of New York, the State University of New York (F.I.T.), Montclair State University, Southern Connecticut State University and Elms College.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.