Gassner Award 2008

Jane returns from work to find a traditional Native American teepee on the front lawn of her home in Rogers Park, a residential neighborhood in Chicago. Grander, a quirky old man from the Potawatomi reservation in Wisconsin, emerges and informs her that he has come to spend his final days on the land promised by the ancestors. Whose land is it? Will Grander die there on the lawn? Will anyone want to taste his squirrel jerky?

Ron Hirsen, a native of Chicago, has worked in the academic theatre and also professionally as both actor and director. His play Elegy had readings at the Jewish Repertory Theatre in New York before receiving its premiere production at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 2002. The Frugal Repast, developed at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 2004, received its premiere production at the Abingdon Theatre in New York in 2007 and was published later that year by Samuel French. As part of its annual O'Neill celebration, The O'Neill presented a reading in 2005 of Mr. Hirsen's Gene, a one-act companion piece to Eugene O'Neill's HughieLand Where My Fathers Died had a staged reading in 2007 at Chicago Dramatists, where Mr. Hirsen is a Resident Playwright. His most recent play, The Well-Tempered Clavier, was also given a staged reading at Chicago Dramatists in October, 2008. Mr. Hirsen is a member of The Dramatists Guild and a former member of Actors' Equity. He is represented by Elaine Devlin Literary, New York.