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Company Announces Winner of Playwrighting Commission

Sometimes it definitely pays to be greedy -- especially if you get exactly what you asked for.

The Clubbed Thumb theatre company has chosen a play called "Greedy," about a plea for money, as the winner of its first playwrighting competition, and rewarded the play's author, Karl Gajdusek, with a $15,000 commission -- one of the largest playwrighting commissions available.

"We received applications from all over the country and were moved and excited by the remarkable quality of the work submitted," says Meg MacCary, co-director of the company.

"Greedy" follows five people through the struggles of hope, desire, integrity, and, well, greed. It all starts with an email begging for money, with the inflated promises of big returns.

Clubbed Thumb, which calls the work "no gauze, hard-hitting, and utterly relevant to the times," was created with the mission to encourage the writing of plays that consider the relationships between truth, power, history and responsibility.

A panel of readers chose "Greedy" as the winning proposal after considering how each submission addressed the chosen theme for this season, "Yamashita's Gold."

The company announced the competition back in April and received 161 entries by the deadline in mid-July.

Gajdusek, who lives in San Diego, is already an accomplished member of the West Coast theatrical industry. He earned a bachelors degree from Yale and a masters of fine arts from the University of California at San Diego. Since 1991, he has won the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, the Jerome Fellowship (twice), the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship, and the McKnight Advancement Grant.

In addition, Gajdusek created four episodes of the Showtime show "Dead Like Me" in 2004, serving as a story editor. His theatre company, Theater E. Karl, produces stage plays and screenplays, and Gajdusek also founded the script publication service, Big Sun Productions.

-- Anna Bengel

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