The Ryan Hudak LGBTQ+ Playwright Award

The Ryan Hudak LGBTQ+ Playwright Award is a $10,000 cash grant to be awarded to one (1) New York State-based playwright who self-identifies as LGBTQ+. 


The 2023 award cycle is now closed. Please check back for updates on future cycles.


The Ryan Hudak LGBTQ+ Playwright Award is an annual $10,000 cash grant awarded to one (1) New York State-based playwright who self-identifies as LGBTQ+. The Award honors the life and work of Ryan Hudak. Ryan was a gay playwright, theater maker, filmmaker, and a valued member of NYFA’s staff, serving on the executive and development teams. Tragically, Ryan passed away in May 2022 after a long battle with Leukemia at the age of 32. The Award will be open to playwrights who live in New York State, including those who live within the five boroughs of New York City. 

Applicants will need to be practicing playwrights and be able to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to their creative practice and career. Applicants will be required to share a statement on how this Award will impact and catalyze their artistic work and practice. Applicants must self-identify as LGBTQ+. Only those who are at least 25 years of age and current New York State residents and have maintained residency for a minimum of twelve months by the application deadline will be considered. 

Funding for this award is generously provided by Ryan’s parents, Pat and Tom Hudak; individual donors; and the philanthropic community. Those interested in contributing funds to this annual award may donate below.



NYFA only accepts applications online via

Download a PDF version of the application guidelines here

View the application guidelines page here.

View the FAQ page here.


Dena Igusti is an Indonesian Muslim writer born and raised in Queens, NY. They are the author of Cut Woman (Game Over Books, 2020), which has been listed as a 2022 Perennial Award Winner, 2020 Harvard Bookstore Staff Pick, and included in Entropy Mag’s Best Of 2020-2021; and I Need This to Not Swallow Me Alive (Gingerbug Press, 2021). They are the co-playwright of the wish: a manual for a last-ditch effort to save abortion in the united states through theater (2023 A is For Play Winner). They are the founder of Dearest Mearest, a multimedia platform for arts and arts accessibility.

Igusti’s work has been featured in BOAAT Press, Peregrine Journal, Colorbloq, and several other publications. Their work has been produced and performed at the Los Angeles Times, The Brooklyn Museum, The Apollo Theater, Women Deliver, the 2018 Teen Vogue Summit, Players Theatre (SHARUM, 2019), Prelude Festival (Cut Woman, 2020), Center At West Park (CON DOUGH, 2021), The Tank (First Sight 2021 at LimeFest), The Public (BLISS at Breaking The Binary Theatre Festival, 2023), and several other venues internationally.

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NYFA is committed to supporting artists from every background, and at all stages in their creative careers. Artists with multiple intersecting identities, including people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.