LOUISVILLE, KY.: The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) has selected Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone as the winner of the 2015 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, announced at a ceremony at the 2016 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The award is given to playwrights whose scripts premiered professionally outside of New York City. The prize comes with $25,000.
The play is a comedy about Nguyen’s parents when they meet at a refugee camp in Arkansas after the Vietnam War. It had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, Calif. (it’s currently running at Oregon Shakespeare Festival).
The Steinberg also comes with two citations, which each award $7,500: Steven Dietz’s Bloomsday (world premiere at ACT Theatre in Seattle) and Jen Silverman’s The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (world premiere at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia). Dietz’s play is about two people who meet on the streets of Dublin and Silverman’s play is about the abuse of women in South Africa.
The winners were selected from 28 eligible scripts and evaluated by a committee of theatre credits, led by Lou Harry of the Indianapolis Business Journal/IBJ.com.
“It isn’t just a privilege, it’s an honor to have the opportunity to experience the work of these theatre artists and to passionately debate with such learned colleagues,” said Harry in a statement. “These are plays the American theatre can take great pride in—plays that deserve long lives and multiple productions.”
The award is funded by the funded Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. ATCA is the national association of professional theatre critics. It also administers the $10,000 Francesca Primus Prize.