Taylor Adamson (MFA ’17) has won the 2017 Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwriting Prize for his thesis work, Endless Summer. Adamson’s award-winning play follows three young people and their adventures as they sublet a New York City apartment and discover more about themselves and the distinct individuals they want to become. It was presented in a staged reading at the MFA Playwriting Festival of New Works, the Hunter graduate program’s spring showcase of second-year thesis projects. Bestowed annually, the Goldberg prize includes a cash award.
Born and raised in Texas, Adamson came to New York to earn his BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has worked with several theatre companies and had his plays produced in New York, California, Colorado, Ohio, Washington, DC and Columbia, Ontario. His latest project is a drama set in Texas about the relationship between two sisters who meet for the first time after their father dies.
Adamson says that when he decided to pursue an MFA, he was impressed by the extraordinary faculty of Hunter’s Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwriting Program – a faculty that currently boasts 2016 MacArthur “Genius” and Obie winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker, and 2012 Guggenheim Fellow Brighde Mullins.
“This program has three exceptionally dedicated, brilliant individuals whose teaching approaches are diverse and complementary, and who are each incredibly inspiring writers on their own terms,” Adamson said. “Working with them and my peers has been the greatest joy.”
The source of the program’s overall excellence and low cost to students is its endowment – funded by Hunter alumna Rita Goldberg and her late husband, Burton. The Goldbergs’ generosity, guided by their love of great writing for the stage, now plays a vital role in theatre at Hunter and across the country. At the award ceremony on June 1, Rita Goldberg’s family joined Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab, MFA students and theatre faculty in applauding the honoree, his fellow graduates, and the program that has helped them hone their craft.