Alumna France-Luce Benson Wins the 2016 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival


France-Luce Benson (BFA, 1998) was named one of six winning playwrights at the 2016 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, the nation’s premier short play competition.

Over 1500 playwrights submitted their short 10-30 minute plays to the annual festival.  The six winning plays will be published and available for licensing by Samuel French in the 41st Annual edition of its Off Off Broadway Plays collection.

Benson’s play, Risen From the Dough, was inspired by every Haitian bakery she had ever set foot in, from Flatbush Avenue in New York to Miami’s Little Haiti.  In a small, rustic, Brooklyn bakery, two sisters prepare for the health department inspection.  Leonide struggles to convince her sister to break tradition in the name of survival, but Maryse believes that tradition is all she has left.  As the two sisters bake and bicker, they eventually come to terms with grief, identity, and the complicated realities of immigrant life.

After graduating from FIU, Benson earned her MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon.  She has been the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Original Screenplay, the Lorraine Hansberry Award at the Kennedy Center, and the National Play Network Award for Short Playwriting.  Her plays have been produced by City Theatre of Miami (Arsht Center), Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Crossroads Theatre, among others.  She is currently an Associate Professor at St. John’s University.

Originating in 1975, the OOB Festival is one of Samuel French’s primary initiatives to work with the next wave of emerging playwrights.  The Festival has served as a doorway to future success for many aspiring dramatists, and has helped launch the work of such notables as Theresa Rebeck, Shirley Lauro, Sheila Callaghan, Bekah Brunstetter, Steve Yockey, and Daniel Pearle.

For more information on Ms. Benson, please visit her website.

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