The ceremony took place Nov. 16 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, with scenes from their work to be performed in celebration.
"The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust prides itself on fostering the best and brightest young playwrights through the Steinberg Playwright Awards, and we are extremely proud to honor Branden and Dominique this year. Their work to date has displayed outstanding talent, and we look forward to watching their careers continue to flourish," said Steinberg board member Jim Steinberg in a press statement.
See Dominique Morisseau and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Receive the Steinberg Playwright Award
Jacobs-Jenkins is a current resident playwright at the Signature Theatre. He is an Obie winner whose Off-Broadway works have garnered critical acclaim in recent years. They include Soho Rep's An Octoroon, the Vineyard's recent staging of Gloria and Appropriate. His play War will be produced at the Lincoln Center Theatre as an LCT3-commissioned work.
"Jacobs-Jenkins is one of America's most exciting and talented young playwrights," said Paige Evans, artistic director at LCT3, in a press statement. "Branden’s plays are fiercely intelligent, ambitious, and boldly theatrical. They challenge, entertain, and unsettle audiences, making us laugh, gasp, and think deeply about race, class, personal ambition, and other complex issues." Morisseau is the winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama and alumna of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group, Women's Project Lab Lark Playwrights Workshop. Her plays include Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater), Paradise Blue (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater), among others. Her play Blood at the Root will have its New York City premiere at Harlem's National Black Theatre next Spring.
"Dominique’s voice is vital and refreshing. As demonstrated in her trilogy of Detroit plays, she is an artist who believes in the importance of community and the power of theater as a unifying force," commented Neil Pepe, artistic director at the Atlantic, in a press statement. "Her work celebrates the truth and humanity of her characters and leaves us asking profound questions about who we are and the kind of world we want to live in."
The Steinberg Playwright Awards and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award are presented in alternate years. Past recipients include Stephen Adly Guirgis, Annie Baker, Rajiv Joseph, David Henry Hwang, Lisa D’Amour, Melissa James Gibson, Lynn Nottage and more. The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created by Harold Steinberg in 1986 with the mission of supporting and promoting American theatre.