NEW YORK CITY: The Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and Citations, presented by Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA), recognize playwrights for exceptional plays that premiered professionally outside New York City. The 2020 prizes, which celebrate works produced in 2019, were presented online May 13. The 2020 finalists, selected by members of ATCA, were culled from a submission of 32 scripts by playwrights across the U.S.
“Though we are unable to celebrate these wonderful achievements in person this year, we know that with the horrific events disrupting our country, the world, and particularly the American theatre, that these awards will mean even more to the recipients,” said Jim Steinberg, a director of the trust and son of its namesakes, on the livestream.
This year’s winner was How the Light Gets In by E.M. Lewis, which premiered at Boston Court Pasadena in Pasadena, Calif. Lewis was awarded a $25,000 cash prize.
Steinberg Citations, which include $7,500 prizes and plaques for both the playwrights and the theatres, were awarded to Animal Control by Chandler Hubbard, produced by Firehouse Theatre in Richmond, Va., and The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.
The finalists included The Coast Starlight by Keith Bunin at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego; Nonsense and Beauty by Scott C. Sickles at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; and Sheepdog by Kevin Artigue at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, Calif.
In addition ATCA gave the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award to Dan McCabe for The Purists, which was produced by the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. The prize, created to recognize the work of an author who has not yet achieved national stature, was established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre magazine play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. McCabe will receive a $1,000 prize funded by the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association.
Founded in 1974, ATCA is the only national association of professional theatre critics and is committed to increasing public awareness and raising critical standards within theatre criticism.