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J. Owen Grundy History Award

Horseshoe Empire

We are honored to present the J. Owen Grundy History Award to Margo Hammond's captivating play, "Horseshoe Empire" . This remarkable work offers a profound and thought-provoking glimpse into Jersey City's intricate history, shedding light on the enigmatic legacy of Mayor Frank Hague and sparking important questions about societal progress and moral choices.

Portraying leaders with multifaceted legacies is a challenging endeavor, and Margo's play brilliantly captures the complexities of Mayor Hague's character. It paints a vivid portrait of a man who possessed great charm and charisma, genuine passion for his city, and numerous accomplishments, yet also exhibited the flaws of a strongman who sometimes placed himself above the law.

The June performance of "Horseshoe Empire" at the iconic Apple Tree House was a true highlight, with a mesmerizing cast that left the audience in awe. Frank Hankey's portrayal of Mayor Frank Hague was nothing short of exceptional, capturing the essence of this towering figure in Jersey City's history.

For those fortunate enough to have secured tickets, you are indeed the lucky ones. And for those who missed it, we join in the chorus of voices eagerly urging Margo to bring this outstanding production back to our city. Jersey City wants more!

Congratulations to Margo Hammond and Frank Hankey for their outstanding contributions to chronicling our city's rich history. #GrundyHistoryAward #JerseyCityHistory #HorseshoeEmpire


FIRST PRIZE 2016 Jerry Kaufman Award in Playwriting

Enlighten Me!  Three One-Act Plays

Mistress Marlene

The Button Man

Look Me In the Eyes


In recognition of Excellence in Playwriting

The Jerry Kaufman Award in Playwriting was established in 2007 by Carol Goldberg (pictured left above) to honor her brother, Jerry Kaufman, playwright, publicist and lover of the arts. This award honors American Renaissance Theater playwrights. It is awarded on the basis of excellence in writing full-length work or shorter pieces for the theater that have been developed and presented in the Company’s workshops and represent the high artistic standards of the workshop. Funds that accompany the awards are to be used by the playwright to further his or her artistic endeavors. Mr. Kaufman loved the craft of playwriting and gave generously of his own talent and energies to the American Renaissance Theater Company. The Jerry Kaufman Award in Playwriting continues the important and selfless work that he pursued so passionately during his life and insures that his spirit will continue to inspire the works of future playwrights.


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Congratulations to Margo Hammond, the winner of this year’s ROBERT ELSTON AWARD for her investment of time and energy, as well as her talent and skill, supporting the level of excellence that the ARTC has always striven for.  THANK YOU, MARGO,

Elizabeth Perry, Founding Member


Dear Margo,

Thank you for being our booker and giving us all the opportunity to present our work and ourselves in such a seamless fashion.  It’s a tough job but you handled it with no sturm and drang - Margo fashion.  We are so lucky that you are one of us, not only for your service to ARTC but for your creative contributions as a writer and actor. And so, as a token of our gratitude we hand you the Robert Elston Award.

Kathleen Swan, Producing Artistic Director


Horseshoe Empire was AWARDED generous grants from

Jersey City Arts & Culture Trust Fund

Hudson County History Fund

NJ State Historical Commission 

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