Thursday
Dec152016

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award

Award Background

(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.

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.

Friday
Jul262013

The Steinberg/ATCA Award -- recent history

2013

April 6, 2013 — At tonight’s Humana Festival of New Plays,Robert Schenkkan ATCA named Robert Schenkkan’s meditation on power and pragmatism, All The Way, the recipient of the 2013 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing a script that premiered outside New York City during 2012. Schenkkan’s play about Lyndon Johnson’s dogged campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 received the top award of $25,000.

Two citations that carry $7,500 each were presented to Lucas Hnath for Death Tax and Johnna Adams forGidion’s Knot. Read more here.

Video clips of the ceremony kindly provided by Pam HarbaughJim Steinberg of the Steinberg Charitable Trust; presentations by Bill Hirschman to Robert Schenkkan (“All the Way”) and citation winners Johnna Adams (“Gideon’s Knot”) and Lucas Hnath (“Death Tax”).

2012

March 31, Louisville, The Humana Festival  — ATCA has named Yussef El Guindi’s Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, a play about immigration and assimilation, winner of the $25,000 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for 2012.

The Steinberg/ATCA recognizes the best American scripts that premiered professionally the previous year outside New York City. Ken LaZebnik’s On the Spectrum and A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them received $7,500 Steinberg/ATCA citations.

For more on the 2012 Steinberg/ATCA awards, click here

For the six finalists for the award, which also included Sharr White’s AnnapurnaCaitlin Montanye Parrish’s A Twist of Water and Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Water By The Spoonful,” click here

2011

Winner of the $25,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for 2011 is Bill Cain’s “Nine Circles,”a harrowing play about war and redemption. Kathryn Grant’s “The Good Counselor” and David Bar Katz’s “The History of Invulnerability” received Steinberg/ATCA citations and $7,500 each. Both Grant and Katz are first-time winners, but Cain won the Steinberg/ATCA Award last year for “Equivocation” – the first consecutive wins ever, although other playwrights (Jane Martin, August Wilson, Lee Blessing) have won it (or its predecessor award) more than once. For more on the 2011 Steinberg/ATCA Award, click here.

For the six finalists for the award, which also included Rinne Groff’s “Compulsion,” Lisa D’Amour’s “Detroit” and Emily Schwend’s “Splinters,” read more here.

2010

Winner of the 2010 Steinberg/ATCA Award is Bill Cain for “Equivocation,” his fantasy-comedy-drama about Shakespeare, Jacobean skulduggery, bigotry and the relationship of art to government and artists’ personal responsibility to truth. The two citations, including plaques and $7,500 each, went to “Time Stands Still,” by Donald Margulies, and “Legacy of Light,” by Karen Zacarías.

Read more about the 2010 Steinberg/ATCA Award.

See the six finalists for the 2010 Steinberg/ATCA Award.

2009

E.M. Lewis’ “Song of Extinction” wins 2009 $25,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award; $7,500 Citations for Lee Blessing and Tracy Letts

Read Press Release

2008

2008 Steinberg/ATCA Winners announced: Moises Kaufman’s “33 Variations” takes top honors

Read Press Release 

GO TO PAGE 2 (below) for complete list of winners.