The awards will be presented Nov. 17 at Lincoln Center Theater where Guirgis will receive a cash award of $200,000.
"I am beyond humbled to receive this incredibly generous affirmation and support from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust," Guirgis said in a statement. "We live in a world of, 'Take the money and run.' This award is especially meaningful and inspiring to me personally because the message here seems to be, 'Take the money, and STAY.' It's a privilege and an honor to be a worker in our theater community. I only hope to reward your faith in me by doing the best work I can for as long as I'm able and by helping young artists in any way I can. Playwrights and all artists in the theater do need support. I am grateful, proud, blown away and tremendously thankful for everything this award says and gives. I'm staying. Tomorrow starts today."
Guirgis is a member and former co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays, which have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States, include Our Lady of 121st Street; Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train; In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; and The Little Flower of East Orange. He is a Tony nominee for The Motherf**ker with the Hat.
"There is no one in contemporary American theatre like Stephen Adly Guirgis who brutally captures the largely forgotten and ignored segments of our country's population and brings them to startling life," Chay Yew, a member of the 2014 Advisory Committee and artistic director at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, added. "Play after play, Stephen's body of work continues to be audacious, tackling, dissecting and celebrating society's unsung underdogs. His imagination is dazzling; the command of his theatrical language is muscular and assured. Stephen is the poet and champion of our American underclasses."
Previous recipients of the Steinberg Playwright Awards and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award include Annie Baker, Rajiv Joseph, David Henry Hwang, Lisa D'Amour, Melissa James Gibson, Lynn Nottage, David Adjmi, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bruce Norris and Tony Kushner.