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Kenneth Lonergan wins inaugural PEN/Mike Nichols award

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2017 file photo, Kenneth Lonergan arrives at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. The filmmaker-playwright is the first recipient of a prize named for the late Mike Nichols. PEN America, the literary and human rights organization, announced Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, that Lonergan has won the PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award. The $25,000 prize is given for works which “enlighten and inspire audiences” in the tradition of Nichols, known for directing such films as “The Graduate” and such plays as “The Odd Couple.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Filmmaker-playwright Kenneth Lonergan is the first recipient of a prize named for the late Mike Nichols.

PEN America, the literary and human rights organization, announced Monday that Lonergan has won the PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award. The $25,000 prize is given for works which “enlighten and inspire audiences” in the tradition of Nichols, known for directing such films as “The Graduate” and such plays as “The Odd Couple.”

Lonergan’s films include “You Can Count on Me” and “Manchester By the Sea.” His plays “The Waverly Gallery” and “Lobby Hero” were recently revived on Broadway.

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