Norris, McCraney and Adjmi Win Steinberg Playwright Awards

News   Norris, McCraney and Adjmi Win Steinberg Playwright Awards Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner announced Sept. 17 that playwrights Bruce Norris, Tarell Alvin McCraney and David Adjmi are the first recipients of the Steinberg Playwright Awards.
David Adjmi, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bruce Norris
David Adjmi, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bruce Norris

The awards were established in 2008 by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust to "recognize up-and-coming playwrights at various stages of their early careers whose professional works show great promise," according to press notes.

The three writers will be presented with their awards Oct. 26 at a ceremony at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

The Advisory Committee, who selected playwrights "at various stages of their early careers," honored Norris for his body of work and outstanding potential (for which he will receive a $50,000 cash award), and Adjmi and McCraney for being promising new voices in the theatre (for which they will each receive a cash award of $25,000). The playwrights will also be presented with The Mimi, a statue designed by Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect David Rockwell.

Last year, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust presented Kushner with the first Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, which carried a cash prize of $200,000. (The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award [for established playwrights] and the Steinberg Playwright Awards [for playwrights in earlier stages of their careers], both known as The Mimi, will be presented in alternating years.)

Steinberg Trust board member James D. Steinberg said in a statement, "The Trust is pleased and proud to be able to honor and encourage these three important playwrights. Their unique voices and exceptional talent hold limitless potential. We welcome, celebrate and look forward with great anticipation to their artistic contributions to the American theater for decades to come." The recipients were selected by the Advisory Committee: André Bishop, Artistic Director, Lincoln Center Theater; Polly K. Carl, Director of Artistic Development, Steppenwolf Theatre Company; David Emmes, Producing Artistic Director, South Coast Repertory; Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater; Martha Lavey, Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre Company; playwright Eduardo Machado, Artistic Director, INTAR Theatre; and Marc Masterson, Artistic Director, Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Advisory Committee member Oskar Eustis stated, "The committee felt strongly we should not limit this award only to writers at the very start of their careers, but should honor writers of real power and integrity who are in their first decade of professional playwriting. These three writers are each unique, extraordinary voices who we are confident will make a real mark on the American theater."

David Adjmi's plays include Stunning, The Evildoers, Elective Affinities, Marie Antoinette, Caligula, Strange Attractors and Woody Allen's Fall Project.

Tarell Alvin McCraney's plays include Wig Out!; The Brother/Sister Plays; Without/Sin; Run, Mourner, Run; Choir Boy; Again and Again; and A meditation on Antigone.

Bruce Norris' plays include The Infidel, Purple Heart, We All Went Down to Amsterdam, The Pain and the Itch, The Unmentionables, Clybourne Park and A Parallelogram.

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