Playwright Ruth Zamoyta was one of eight recipients of a 2018 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Individual Artist Fellowships, announced on February 13th, are competitive awards to New Jersey artists granted after independent peer panel assessment of anonymous work samples, focused solely on artistic quality. NJSCA considers artists from 12 different disciplines on a rotating basis, and this year the categories were crafts, photography, and playwriting.
Zamoyta had submitted her play The Caregivers, about the daughter of a woman in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, the full-time aide from Trinidad, and their conflicting perspectives on caregiving and motherhood.
“No form of art presents the human experience as powerfully as theatre,” said Zamoyta. “We enter a dark theatre, take a seat, and come face-to-face with ourselves and our shortcomings. We leave the theatre moved and inspired. As I have only been writing plays for a few years, the NJSCA fellowship was a validation of my work. It gives me encouragement to continue the important job of playmaking.”
Laura Ekstrand, Artistic Director of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, said, “We were so excited to hear that Ruth won this award. It's remarkable that it's for her first play, but it was obvious from the reading that we had at Dreamcatcher that the audience responded in a very personal way to the play and Ruth was very open to the input and discussion that resulted. We hope it's the first of many wonderful pieces that she creates!”
Since 2014, Zamoyta has served as Development & Communications Director at New Jersey Theatre Alliance. Previously she was Communications and Projects Manager in the Office of the President at Columbia University, and worked as an independent marketing, strategy, and project consultant.
For as long as she can remember, Zamoyta has been writing creatively. Her novel firstname.lastname@example.org published serially on classicnovels.com in 2001, and she self-published ‘Otsu’ and Other Poems in 2006. She co-edited Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems (Ragged Sky Press) in 2009, and the poetry collection Blanket Stories (Ragged Sky Press) in 2014. She has also published several poems and articles.
Zamoyta holds master’s degrees from Columbia University and New York University, and a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from St. John’s University. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild and the International Centre for Women Playwrights, and a trustee of Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ.