NEW YORK: The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust has named Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Dominique Morisseau as the recipients of this year’s Steinberg Playwrights Awards. The award, which recognizes emerging American playwrights for their distinctive voices and artistic ability, includes a cash prize of $50,000.
Currently a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theatre in New York, Jacobs-Jenkins has previously been honored with a Paula Vogel Award, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams award. His credits include Gloria (Vineyard Theatre), Appropriate (Signature), Neighbors (the Public Theater), and War (Yale Rep).
“Branden’s plays are fiercely intelligent, ambitious, and boldly theatrical,” said Paige Evans, artistic director of LCT3, in a statement. “They challenge, entertain, and unsettle audiences, making us laugh, gasp, and think deeply about race, class, personal ambition, and other complex issues.”
Dominique Morisseau, who serves as story editor on the upcoming season of the Showtime series Shameless, has been commissioned by Steppenwolf, LCT3, South Coast Rep, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The three parts of her play cycle “The Detroit Projects” have been staged at the Public Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Atlantic Theater Company, respectively, and her play Blood at the Root has toured South Africa, Scotland, Australia, and the United States.
In a statement, Atlantic artistic director Neil Pepe described Morisseau as “an artist who believes in the importance of community and the power of theater as a unifying force.” Her work, said Pepe, “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.”
Jacobs-Jenkins and Morisseau will be honored on Monday, Nov. 18, at the 8th Annual “Mimi” Awards at Lincoln Center Theater. Previous award recipients include Stephen Adly Guirgis, Annie Baker, and Lisa D’Amour.