Equivocation Wins Steinberg/ATCA Award; Margulies and Zacarias Also Cited

News   Equivocation Wins Steinberg/ATCA Award; Margulies and Zacarias Also Cited
The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) has named Bill Cain's Equivocation winner of the 2010 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, which recognizes the best scripts which premiered professionally in 2009 outside of New York City.

Donald Margulies and Karen Zacarias were named recipients of two additional citations.

"No play is eligible if it goes on to a production in New York, where there are plenty of awards, during the same award year," according to an ATCA statement. Equivocation opened at Manhattan Theatre Club's Off-Broadway space in 2010, outside of the 2009 ATCA eligibility period. It closes March 28.

The Steinberg/ATCA and two additional citations (to Donald Margulies and Karen Zacarias) will be presented March 27 at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Cain will receive a commemorative plaque and a cash prize of $25,000. The two citations, including plaques and $7,500 each, went to Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies, and Legacy of Light by Karen Zacarías.

Cain's Equivocation "is a highly-theatrical fantasy that mixes wry comedy and shattering drama," according to ATCA. "King James' ruthless prime minister commissions Shakespeare's company to write and perform the official (and highly suspect) government account of Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot. Shakespeare becomes increasingly skeptical, forced to weigh the relationship of art to government and artists' personal responsibility to truth. It premiered April 18, 2009, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, later played at Seattle Repertory Theatre and is just completing a 2010 New York run at the Manhattan Theater Club."

Critic Misha Berson of The Seattle Times called it "compelling fiction in its rich marbling of literary lore and a timely, astute portrayal of religious bigotry, political exploitation of terrorism and other burning matters. An erudite historical drama demanding three hours of your time, and many of your brain cells, is a rare property in the American theatre. And in this case, a welcome one." Zacarias' Legacy of Light was described by one critic as "an intellectual joyride" examining two women, an 18th-century scientist and a 21st-century astrophysicist, balancing their yearning for professional fulfillment and the complications of impending motherhood."

The work premiered May 8, 2009, at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

Time Stands Still "portrays married journalists trying to recover from the emotionally and physical damage wreaked during their coverage of the war-torn Middle East. They must weigh their socially important role against the seemingly irreconcilable quest for a normal life back home." It premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles on Feb. 11, 2009, and ends a Broadway run March 27.

The winners were selected from plays nominated by ATCA members and evaluated by a committee of 13 theatre critics, led by chairman Wm. F. Hirschman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Other committee members were Misha Berson, Seattle Times; Bruce Burgun, Bloomington Herald Times and Back Stage; Michael Elkin, Jewish Exponent (Pennsylvania); Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune; Pam Harbaugh, Florida Today (Melbourne, FL); Leonard Jacobs, New York Press, Back Stage, and Editor, The Clyde Fitch Report; Elizabeth Keill, Independent Press (Morristown, NJ); Elizabeth Maupin, Orlando Sentinel; Wendy Parker, The Village Mill (Midlothian, VA); Michael Sander, Back Stage (Minnesota); Herb Simpson, www.totaltheater.com (Rochester, NY) and Tim Treanor, DC Theater Scene (Washington, DC).

Visit americantheatrecritics.org.

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