Playwright Audrey Cefaly Wins Lambda Literary Award for ‘The Gulf’

Washington, DC-based Playwright Audrey Cefaly is the winner of this year’s Lambda Literary Award in the category of LGBTQ Drama for her play The Gulf which had its world premiere at Arlington, Virginia’s Signature Theatre in September of 2016.

Playwright Audrey Cefaly.

The award recipients were announced on June 4th, 2018 at a gala ceremony at the Skirball Center in New York City. Cefaly’s fellow nominees in the LGBTQ Drama category were:

Scott C. Sickles, Composure, Produced by the Workshop Theater
Tom MacRae, Jonathan Butterell, and Dan Gillespie, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Samuel French
Trey Anthony, How Black Mothers Say I Love You, Playwrights Canada Press
Paula Vogel, Indecent, Theater Communications Group.

Lambda Literary is the largest and oldest literary arts organization in the United States dedicated to advancing LGBTQ literature. The Lambda Literary Awards, now in their 30th year, recognize achievement in LGBTQ writing completed in 2017.

The Gulf, a 90-minute drama set in the Tensaw Delta, tells the story of a troubled couple (Betty and Kendra) out on a routine fishing excursion when their boat breaks down, leaving them stranded out at night, fighting for survival. According to DCMTA writer David Siegel, “The Gulf richly traffics in both silence and the abundant pent-up forces of two people past the first passions of love. The two characters are beyond those seen before on DC area stages; working-class women from a small town in Alabama who are not written to be or acted as comic raging caricatures.”

Maria Rizzo and Rachel Zampelli played the roles in the Signature production which was directed by Joe Calarco. Cefaly’s newest play, Alabaster, was also workshopped at Signature Theatre and was just awarded The David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize.

Review: ‘The Gulf’ at Signature Theatre by David Siegel

Magic Time! “I Think About How Badly I Can Break a Heart Today”: A Q & A with Audrey Cefaly Author of “The Gulf” at Signature Theatre by John Stoltenberg

Maria Rizzo and Rachel Zampelli. Photo by Margot Schulman.
Maria Rizzo and Rachel Zampelli in The Gulf at Signature Theatre. Photo by Margot Schulman.
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Nicole Hertvik
A reformed child actor, Nicole got her BA in English literature before wandering the globe for a decade, writing and teaching English in Prague, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and Paris. She eventually landed in NYC where she received a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and dabbled in theater as an actor, script reader, and dramaturg. Thrilled by the strong and diverse theater community she discovered in Washington, DC, Nicole wakes up every morning excited to contribute to DC Metro Theater Arts and other publications. Nicole studied journalism at Georgetown University and was a 2019 fellow at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Critics Institute. Email:, Instagram: @nicolehertvik, Twitter: @nicolehertvik, Facebook: Nicole Hertvik.