Chiara Atik wins 2022 Steinberg-ATCA Award for “Poor Clare”
NEW YORK – Playwright Chiara Atik has won the 2022 Harold and Mimi Steinberg / American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award for her play “Poor Clare.”
The Steinberg/ATCA Award, which carries a $25,000 cash prize, recognizes an outstanding script that premiered professional outside New York City during 2021.
An irreverent look at the religious awakening of St. Clare by St. Francis of Assisi, “Poor Clare” premiered at Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles. Reviewing for the Los Angeles Times, critic Charles McNulty wrote that “the play investigates the sorrows and pleasures of selfless goodness in a world sharply divided into preening haves and pitiful have-nots.”
Two 2022 Steinberg/ATCA citations were bestowed to “Galatea” by David Templeton, produced by Spreckels Theatre Company in Rohnert Park, Calif., and “Young Money” by Erlina Ortiz, produced by Azuka Theatre in Philadelphia. Each citation carries a $7,500 cash prize.
With an annual prize total of $40,000, Steinberg/ATCA is one of the largest national new play award programs. ATCA began honoring new plays produced at regional theaters outside New York City in 1977, and the awards have been funded by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust since 2000. Plays receiving a production in New York City during the award cycle are not eligible for the Steinberg/ATCA award, recognizing the many other awards programs already in existence there.
Also presented at the ceremony was the recipient of the 2022 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award, Makasha Copeland for “Extreme Home Makeover,” produced by Philadelphia’s Theatre Exile. The award recognizes the work of an emerging playwright who has not yet received a major production, such as Off-Broadway or Broadway, nor received other major national awards. The Osborn Award carries a $3,000 cash prize.
The finalists were selected from a pool of eligible scripts recommended by ATCA members from around the country. Misha Berson (Seattle, WA) and Cameron Kelsall (Philadelphia, PA) served as co-chairs of the ATCA New Play Committee during the adjudication process. Other participating members included Nancy Bishop (Chicago, IL), Mike Fischer (Milwaukee, WI), Melissa Hall (Indianapolis, IN), Lou Harry (Indianapolis, IN), Susan Haubenstock (Richmond, VA), Ed Huyck (Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN), Elizabeth Kramer (Louisville, KY), Wendy Parker (Midlothian, VA), Martha Wade Steketee (New York, NY), Doug Strassler (New York, NY), Perry Tannenbaum (Charlotte, NC), Karen Topham (Chicago, IL) and Bob Verini (Boston, MA).
Past honorees of ATCA’s new play award include August Wilson, Horton Foote, Lynn Nottage, Moises Kaufmann, Lee Blessing, Marsha Norman, Nilo Cruz, Regina Taylor, Qui Nguyen, Lauren Yee, Michael Cristofer, and Rebecca Gilman. A complete list of recipients can be found here.
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg on behalf of himself and his late wife. Pursuing its primary mission to support the American theater, it has provided grants totaling millions of dollars for new productions of American plays and educational programs for those who may not ordinarily experience live theater.