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QUI NGUYEN, shown with his two sons, is a winner of The Trust’s $25,000 Helen Merrill Playwright Award.

“I found this award from The New York Community Trust an absolute lifesaver. I now have some security to take care of my two boys as I show them if you truly love something, you fight for it with all you’ve got. Plus, I know there’s going to be a roof over my head. Bottom line: This award keeps me in the game.” — QUI NGUYEN

2015 Results Newsletter

A Theater Lover Keeps Theater Alive

An agent’s bequest fuels talented playwrights


In 2015, playwright Qui Nguyen is able to focus on his work, thanks to a woman he never knew: Helen Merrill, who died
in 1997.

Merrill, a theatrical agent, had an eye for talent. And because she wanted to continue supporting playwrights even after her death, she came to The Trust.

We created the Helen Merrill Playwright Awards—a highly selective honor for emerging dramatists and those in need of financial assistance. With these awards, we’re doing what Merrill herself did: nurturing incredible playwrights.

Brooklyn resident Nguyen, 38, co-founded an Obie award-winning theater company; his play, VIETGONE, a hip-hop comedy about his Vietnamese parents’ love story, premieres in 2016. Meet other winners here.

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