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Dan LeFranc: New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award

Father to teenage son during a "man-to-man" discussion:

"You got questions? I know a few websites...You can use my passwords!"

The son then proceeds to cringe for what the playwright describes as an "itchy pause."

This edifying exchange, representing the current zeitgeist of father-son relationships, takes place in California—while tootling along in a car. Perfect.

The scene is from "Sixty Miles to Silver Lake", the play that earned Dan LeFranc the second Outstanding Young Playwright Award from the New York Times - which comes with a $5,000 award. This honor, presented to Mr. LeFranc on 13 May 2010 by the Times' Publisher and Chairman of the New York Times Company Arthur Sulzberger Jr., was launched in 2009 to encourage and support an American playwright whose work recently received its professional debut in New York.

"Sixty Miles" was produced last season by Page 73 Productions and Soho Rep. It was also produced by the Studio Theater in Washington, DC this spring. The original production starred Joseph Adams and Dane DeHaan and was directed by Anne Kauffman.

A native of Southern California, Mr. LeFranc graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara and has an MFA from the playwriting program at Brown, where he has served on the visiting faculty.

His work by now includes nearly a dozen plays which have been developed and seen at various theaters across the country. Mr. LeFranc's latest play "The Big Meal" will receive its world premiere next winter—in Chicago.

Article by Polly Wittenberg

Dan LeFranc

Originally published on