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The "Mimi" Awards, which will be held Nov. 18 at Lincoln Center, are presented biennially to honor the accomplishments of some of the most gifted, up-and-coming American playwrights and to recognize the promise they hold for the future of American theatre. Each of the recipients will be awarded a $50,000 prize.
Joseph's work includes Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, for which he received a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The North Pool and The Lake Effect. His screenwriting credits include "Nurse Jackie" and "Draft Day."
Baker's writing credits include The Flick, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens, Body Awareness and an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.
"The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is extremely proud to honor both Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph with this year's Steinberg Playwright Awards," Jim Steinberg, a member of the Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, said in a statement. "Both playwrights have produced extremely influential and successful work, which is an extraordinary accomplishment for two such young artists. We look forward to seeing many new works by both Ms. Baker and Mr. Joseph as their careers continue to grow."
Previous winners include Lisa D'Amour (Detroit) and Melissa James Gibson (This) in 2011, and David Adjmi (Stunning), Tarell Alvin McCraney (Choir Boy) and Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park) in 2009.
The event will also recognize David Henry Hwang, who won the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Given in alternate years, the award comes with a $200,000 prize, the most lucrative in theatre. Previous winners of the Distinguished Playwriting Award are Lynn Nottage (Ruined) in 2010, and Tony Kushner (Angels in America) in 2008.