The Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award

Friday
Aug112017

Award History

(Scroll down for news of recent winners and a roster going back to 1977.)

In 1977, the American Theatre Critics Association began annually citing an outstanding new play produced professionally around the United States but not yet produced in New York City, which is well furnished with other awards. This ATCA New Play Citation continued through 1985, when for the first time three plays were cited. Starting in 1986, one of the three was given the ATCA New Play Award, with citations to the two runners-up. The annual prize was $500, then $1,000, with the money contributed some years by ATCA members’ newspapers. 

In 2000, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust generously funded the awards, setting the main prize at $15,000 and two additional citations at $5,000. The award was then named the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and Citations (ATCA/Steinberg for short).

In 2006, it was renamed the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award and Citations (Steinberg/ATCA for short) and raised to $25,000, with two additional citations of $7,500. The honoree and citations are also honored by critical essays in the definitive annual theater yearbook, Best Plays, edited by Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, founded by Burns Mantle in 1920. 

Any play receiving its professional premiere as a finished work, outside of New York City, is eligible for nomination, as long as it hasn’t opened in New York by the end of the calendar year. Plays are nominated for the Steinberg/ATCA Award by ATCA members. Scripts are then read and honorees selected by a large committee of critics from different regions of the country, and the recent practice has been to announce the awards at the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. Many ATCA Award selections have gone on to major off-Broadway or Broadway productions, and many have received subsequent other awards.

Friday
Aug112017

Michael Cristofer wins 2017 Steinberg/ATCA Award; Tracy Letts and David Rabe win citations

April 8 —- ATCA has selected Michael Cristofer’s “Man in the Ring” as the winner of the 2017 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for scripts that premieredMichael Cristofer professionally outside New York City during 2016.The awards were presented tonight by Jim Steinberg and ATCA’s Lou Harry and Bill Hirschman in a ceremony in Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Two citations that carry $7,500 awards were presented to Tracy Letts’ “Mary Page Marlowe” and David Rabe’s “Visiting Edna,” both of which premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago. At $40,000, Steinberg/ATCA is the largest national new play award program recognizing regional theaters as the crucible for new plays in the U.S.

For a fuller report, click here.

Sunday
Apr102016

Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone” wins $25,000 2016 Steinberg/ATCA Award 

Additional $7,500 citations go to Steven Dietz and Jen Silverman 

ATCA has selected Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone” as the winner of the 2016 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2015. This “sexy comedy about culture-shocked, grieving Vietnamese refugees who fled to the U.S. after the fall of Saigon” features “a vivid, specific voice, a wonderful sense of humor and compelling stakes,” said the judges. “Vietgone” premiered at South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California. (Read more.)

Friday
May012015

Rebecca Gilman wins 2015 Steinberg/ATCA Award with 'Luna Gale'

Additional citations to Lucas Hnath and Nathan Alan Davis

 
M. Elizabeth Osborn Award to Tom Coash

ATCA has selected Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale as the recipient of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2014. Gilman’s shattering play about the moral dilemma facing a social worker received the top award of $25,000 and a commemorative plaque during the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Two Steinberg/ATCA citations that carry $7,500 each were presented to Lucas Hnath’s The Christians and Nathan Alan Davis’ Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea. At $40,000, Steinberg/ATCA is the largest national new play award program recognizing regional theaters as the crucible for new plays in the United States.

ATCA also presented the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award, which recognizes emerging playwrights, to Tom Coash’s Veils. For more about these awards, click here.

Thursday
May012014

Gunderson's "I and You" wins 2014 Steinberg/ATCA Award; citations to Demos-Brown and Zimmerman

Louisville, KY, April 5, 2014 — ATCA has named Lauren Gunderson’s I and You recipient of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2013. 

Gunderson’s delicate but droll play about teenagers exploring life and death received $25,000 and a commemorative plaque at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville on April 5.

Two citations that carry $7,500 each were presented to Christopher Demos-Brown for Fear Up Harsh and Martin Zimmerman for Seven Spots on the Sun.

I and You, which has already had three productions, focuses on Caroline, a cranky high school student in desperate need of a liver transplant. She is enticed by classmate Anthony, a level-headed basketball star with a taste for English lit, into helping him finish a school project deconstructing Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. As their quirky relationship evolves, they explore the meaning of life and death without a shred of condescension or pretentiousness. Awash in humor and sharp insights, the play grows quietly toward a surprising, overwhelmingly moving conclusion. It premiered in October at Marin Theatre Company as part of the National New Play Network’s rolling world premiere program.

For more about this and the two citation plays, click here.