Premiere readings set at theatre row in NYC for winning scripts of inaugural Clive Awards playwriting competition

$40k in prize money awarded to two original plays from a Christian worldview

NEW YORK — Premiere staged readings of the two winning script entries in the inaugural Clive Awards playwriting contest are scheduled on June 12, 2024, at Theater Row in New York City.

Presented by Fellowship for Performing Arts (FPA), The Clive Awards is a playwriting competition named in honor of Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis that seeks to encourage the writing of new works that advance FPA’s mission to produce theater from a Christian worldview to engage a diverse audience.

The first-ever Clive Awards winners, selected from hundreds of high-quality submissions from across the United States and many foreign countries, were announced on February 1, 2024. Both the $25,000 first prize and $15,000 second prize plays receive a premiere reading as part of the award.

About the Winning Entries

First Prize: Big Pearls and Small Hips by Mike Solomonson
In Big Pearls and Small Hips, the brash and brilliant Clare Boothe Luce, scion of the Time-Life family, is in spiritual turmoil. This leads her to an encounter with the celebrated radio preacher, Monsignor Fulton Sheen (who later became a renowned Bishop) initiating a journey that confronts both of their personal deception and pain. Based on Claire Booth Luce’s biography, the play the weaves a sharp and witty narrative that delves into eternal questions about suffering, sin and redemption and is full of iconic personalities from the early 20th century including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joeseph Kennedy and Henry Luce. Directed by Christa Scott-Reed, the staged reading promises a captivating exploration of profound psychological and spiritual complexity.

Second Prize: Tiger Takeout by Joe Borini
In Tiger Takeout, a young delivery man, trapped in an elevator, has a life-changing encounter with a 400-pound Bengal tiger. The tiger evokes a modern-day Aslan, as he engages the young man in a remarkable journey of self-discovery on the path to both physical and spiritual rescue. Directed by Stephanie Cozart, this fresh and innovative play is both hilarious and deeply moving. 

About the Winning Playwrights

First prize winner, Mike Solomonson, writes to explore characters who struggle against repressive societal forces or personal circumstances that compel them to grapple with their own moral codes. A Dramatists Guild member, his full-length play The Goodbye Levee debuted in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Playhouse on the Square in 2022 as a winner of their NewWorks@TheWorks competition. It also was a 2019 finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference. Mike lives in Arizona.

Second prize winner, Joe Borini is a former journalist who earned a Masters in Fine Arts in playwriting from the Actors Studio School of Drama at The New School in New York. Joe’s plays have been produced in Virginia, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Rome and Melbourne. His one-act comedy, Homecoming, was published in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope All-Story in 2001 and was produced in Los Angeles as part of Worldly Acts. Joe was a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 2006 Playwrights Conference and is a member of the Actors Studio and the Dramatists Guild.

Produced by:
Fellowship for Performing Arts
630 9th Avenue, Suite 1409, New York NY 10036
Max McLean, Artistic Director
Ken Denison, Executive Producer

For interview request, please contact
Noelle Rhodes at [email protected] | 212-582-2920

Event Details:

  • Second Prize Reading: Tiger Takeout
    Date/Time: Wednesday, June 12, 3:00 p.m.
  • First Prize Reading: Big Pearls and Small Hips
    Date/Time: Wednesday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.
  • Address: Theatre Row (Theatre 3) 410 W. 42nd, New York NY 10036
  • Free Reservations: To reserve your seat, visit

About Fellowship for Performing Arts

Founded by Artistic Director Max McLean, Fellowship for Performing Arts (FPA) is a New York City-based production company with a mission to produce theatre and film from a Christian worldview. In addition to annual seasons at Theatre Row in New York City, it produces national tours at major performing arts venues and university theatres. McLean is a recipient of the C.S. Lewis Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement and received an Equity Jeff Award, Chicago theatre’s highest honor.

FPA’s many recent New York and national touring productions include The Screwtape Letters (returning to the tour stage this September), The Great Divorce, The Most Reluctant Convert, Martin Luther on Trial, Paradise Lost, Shadowlands and A Man For All Seasons. A film version of The Most Reluctant Convert premiered in North America and in the U.K. in November 2021 and has since been seen worldwide in over 130 countries.  

FPA is currently on tour with its newest play, C.S. Lewis On Stage: Further Up & Further In. For more information visit


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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