Joyce Award Winners

Naomi Iizuka with The Children’s Theatre Company



Playwright Naomi Iizuka is a two-time Joyce Award recipient. In 2004, she received a Joyce Awards to create a new play in collaboration with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and in 2011 she received a Joyce Award to develop a children’s play with The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis.

Iizuka was born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Indonesia, Holland, and Washington, D.C. She is the author of 36 Views, Language of Angels, War of the Worlds (written in collaboration with Anne Bogart and SITI Company), Polaroid Stories, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Tattoo Girl, Scheherazade, and Skin. A member of

The 2004 Joyce Award will supported the Goodman Theatre’s commissioning and performance of Ghostwritten by Iizuka, exploring the legacy of U.S. foreign policy in South East Asia and its repercussions within the United States in the decades following the war. The production will drew on the experiences of South East Asian refugees now living in the American Midwest.

The 2011 Joyce Award supported the development of an original work based on Japanese folktales that will introduce young audiences to the cosmic dilemmas and archetypal situations in traditional Japanese literature and fairytales. Staging will utilize theatrical elements of Kabuki theater. Designed for audiences of five to eight year-old children, the work is being developed in partnership with Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and is anticipated to premiere during CTC’s 2013 season.

Naomi Iizuka

Related Content

Grantee Spotlight

They Got NEXT — Chicago Sinfonietta Celebrates 35 Years

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chicago Sinfonietta, like so many organizations, was forced to reimagine itself, pivoting programming and performances to a fully virtual space.

Chicago Sinfonietta


Joyce Awards Information Session

Culture director Mia Khimm and grants manager Lynne Wiora discuss the Joyce Awards program and the application process. LOIs are due on September 12, 2022. New applicants should create accounts by September 7, 2022.


2022 Joyce Awards Announcement

Five innovative new projects by pioneering artists of color spanning the visual, performing, and multidisciplinary arts that engage diverse communities in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul will receive this year’s annual awards.


The “Full-Circle” Moment of Nick Cave and Forothermore

Recent work by Internationally acclaimed, Chicago-based artist and Joyce Awards winner Nick Cave.

Grantee Spotlight

Congo Square Play Promotes Healing, Catharsis in Chicago

Congo Square Theatre is an ensemble dedicated to producing transformative work rooted in the African Diaspora. For 20 years it has committed to telling stories by and for Black people.

Congo Square Theatre Company


Groundbreaking Lyric Opera Show Led by Two Joyce Award Winners

Profile on Joyce Award Winners Terence Blanchard & Camille A. Brown involvement in new Lyric Opera show

Grantee Spotlight

Building collective power through research

Black Researchers Collective was founded in 2019 with a mission to train and equip communities with the research tools necessary to be more civically engaged and policy informed.

Black Researchers Collective

Grantee Spotlight

The nation’s first Black arts museum

South Side Community Art Center is the nation’s first Black arts museum that develops and showcases some of the nation’s most influential Black artists.

South Side Community Art Center