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The Brown Martin Philadelphia Award

The Brown Martin Philadelphia Award is awarded annually to a production that best leads audiences to a better understanding of the unique experience of particular segments of our global community. Through their accurate and insightful representation of perspectives unique to gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and other categories of specialized experience, these productions enlighten us and help us to better appreciate different points of view without demanding that we agree with them. Generously funded by the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, this special Barrymore Award includes a $25,000 cash prize for the recipient and $2,500 for each finalist.

In order to ensure proper viewing, theatres are invited to choose up to two (2) productions from the current season and submit a letter and application requesting consideration by or before mid-December. While recognizing the deadline above, theatre’s are encouraged to submit an application at their earliest convenience regardless of opening.

UPDATE: Many of our Barrymore supporters are reaching out to help the community now, at a time when so many are in need. At this time, we will temporarily suspend applications for the F. Otto Haas Award, the June and Steve Wolfson Award, the Brown Martin Philadelphia Award, and the Victory Foundation Award. Applications that have been submitted for these awards will be filed and kept for consideration as soon as we have determined how the Barrymore Celebration will move forward. Theatre Philadelphia Emergency Relief includes contributions from the CHG Charitable Trust, the June and Steve Wolfson Family Foundation, and the Victory Foundation, who also provide support to Theatre Philadelphia’s Barrymore program. Information about this program is available at

Click here to download the Application for the Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award.

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Award Recipients

2019 The Color Purple
Theatre Horizon
2018 Fun Home, Arden Theatre Company & Human Rites, InterAct Theatre Company
2017 Peaceable Kingdom
Orbiter 3
2016 Time Is On Our Side
Simpatico Theatre
2015 The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane
InterAct Theatre Company
2014 I Am My Own Wife
Theatre Horizon
2013 Next to Normal
Arden Theatre Company
2012 Slip/Shot
Flashpoint Theatre Company
2011 Love and Communication
Passage Theatre Company
2010 Black Pearl Sings!
InterAct Theatre Company