Blessing, Rapp and Wilson Vie for 2006 Steinberg New Play Award; Prize Climbs to $25K

News   Blessing, Rapp and Wilson Vie for 2006 Steinberg New Play Award; Prize Climbs to $25K Lee Blessing, Amy Freed, Adam Rapp and the late August Wilson are among the finalists for the 2006 Steinberg New Play Award which has increased its cash awards this year, with the highest honoree receiving $25,000.

The winner will be announced April 1 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. The prize includes the highest American playwriting cash award of $25,000 (up from previous years' $15,000). Two additional citation recipients will be given cash prizes of $7, 500 (previously $5,000) each. All prizes are funded by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

"For three decades the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust has been a fervent supporter of the American playwright," stated trustee Jim Steinberg. "It is vital that we continue to support those writers who relate the ongoing American saga for the stage. This award brings the appropriate recognition to the important role the playwright serves in American Arts & Letters."

The American Theatre Critics Association presents the annual Steinberg honor for "outstanding new plays produced around the United States, outside of New York City" placing a focus on regional works not often included in the numerous New York based awards.

The six finalists (and the regional theatre at which they were first produced) are:

  • A Body of Water by Lee Blessing (Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, MN)
  • Restoration Comedy by Amy Freed (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris. (Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, IL)
  • Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp (Steppenwolf Theatre)
  • American Fiesta by Steven Tomlinson (State Theatre in Austin, TX)
  • Radio Golf by August Wilson (Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT) For this year's award, 25 eligible scripts were submitted by ATCA members, representing over 250 regional media outlets. A committee of 12 professional theater critics reviewed and selected the finalists.

    Last year's winner of the Steinberg New Play Award was Craig Lucas' The Singing Forest with the other citations going to Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House, Gina Gionfriddo's After Ashley and J.T. Rogers' Madagascar. Previous recipients of the honor include Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel (2004), Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics (2003), Horton Foote's The Carpetbaggers Children (2002), Jane Martin's Anton In Show Business (2001), Regina Taylor's Oo-Bla-Dee (2000) and Lanford Wilson's Book of Days (1999).

    For more information on the American Theatre Critics Association, visit www.americantheatrecritics.org.