image003cropProducing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside of American Blues Theater, Chicago’s second oldest Equity Ensemble, announces the recipient of the 2015 Blue Ink Playwriting Award is Jamie Pachino and her play Other Than Honorable.

Other Than Honorable is the story of Grace Benton, a former army officer who resigned her commission under sealed terms and now works with a high profile Washington, D.C. law firm. A new client arrives at her office, reopening Grace’s wounds as she is forced to confront her past life in the army and learn what honor can mean in a soldier’s and woman’s life.

The Blue Ink Playwriting Award was created in 2010 to support new work. Whiteside and the award-winning Ensemble select the winning play and distribute $1,500 in prizes. Pachino, as the 2015 winning candidate, receives $1,000, a staged-reading directed by Kimberly Senior on Saturday, June 27 and the opportunity to develop the script with American Blues Theater.

“The Blue Ink submissions continue to grow every year. This year’s competition had the highest number of submissions in the award’s history with nearly 500 applicants from around the world including the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Also, the caliber of entries is amazing with such playwrights as runner-up winners Greg Allen and Caridad Svich,” said Whiteside when announcing the 2015 award. For the full listing of 2015 award winners and submission policy, please go to

Pachino joins the 2014 recipient Douglas Post and his play Comden Mall Community Activists as well as Elaine Romero’s Graveyard of Empires (2013); Christina Gorman’s American Myth, (2012) and Stephanie Walker’s American Home (2011) as winners of the Blue Ink Playwriting Award.

ABOUT JAMIE PACHINO, recipient of the 2015 Blue Ink Playwriting Award

Jamie Pachino, currently living in Los Angeles, is an award winning playwright, screenwriter and television writer. Her plays have been produced in four countries, commissioned, published and honored multiple times, and her television work has aired across the world. Pachino’s plays have been named the winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays production grant, the Laurie Foundation Theatre Visionary Award, Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson (“Jeff”) Award for Best New Work, the Pinter Prize Gold Medal for Drama, and the Francesca Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, among many others. Her plays have been nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and Illinois Governor’s Award, and named Runner-up for the Osborn Award (American Theater Critics Association) and Jane Chambers Award. Pachino’s plays have been produced and developed by such theatres as Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, American Conservatory Theatre, San Jose Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva, Northlight, Florida Stage, A Contemporary Theatre, and the Women’s Playwright Conference in Athens, Greece. As a screenwriter, Pachino has written features for DreamWorks, Disney, Vanguard Films, Walden Media, and Smith/Hemion. Greenestreet, Hearst, Trigger Street Films, and Lions Gate have optioned other film scripts. On television, Pachino currently writes for the series Franklin & Bash (TNT), with previous series work on Fairly Legal (USA Network) and freelance work for Rizzoli & Isles (TNT). She has written movies for Lifetime Television and the Hallmark Hall of Fame, including one that gathered Emmy and SAG nominations for Gena Rowlands. Pachino is a proud member of the WGA, the Playwrights Center, and the International Center for Women Playwrights, and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency and Evolution Entertainment. She has served on the faculties of Northwestern University (her alma mater), University of California Irvine, Columbia College, National Louis University and the Chicago Academy for the Arts.


American Blues Theater is the premier American theater producing visceral theatrical works while engaging its audience in missions of local service agencies. American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays we produce and communities we serve.

The multi-generational and interdisciplined artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 39-member Ensemble has 539 combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2015, they’ve individually received nearly 150 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater including the 2014 Jeff Awards for Production-Musical-Midsize, Hank Williams: Lost Highway; Actor in a Principal Role – Musical, Matthew Brumlow, Hank Williams: Lost Highway; Solo Performance, Gwendolyn Whiteside, Grounded; Music Direction, Malcolm Ruhl, Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Sound Design, Lindsay Jones, Grounded and over 22 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.

The American Blues Theater Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Manny Buckley, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Dara Cameron, Casey Campbell, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum, Austin Cook, Laura Coover, Lauri Dahl, Kristin DeiTos, Joe Foust, Tom Geraty, Cheryl Graeff, Marty Higginbotham, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Samantha Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Warren Levon, Michael Mahler, Kelli Marino, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Jim Ortlieb, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross and Gwendolyn Whiteside.


American Blues Theater programs and activities are made possible, in part, by funding by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Arts Work Fund, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Actors’ Equity Foundation, Eurex, The Saints, and the Chip Pringle Fund. ComEd is the official lighting season sponsor.