NEW YORK CITY: The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust today announced the names of the 10 outstanding early- to mid-career playwrights who will be celebrated with 2021 Steinberg Playwright Awards in the amount of $10,000 each. In the past the Steinberg Trust honored two mid-career playwrights with a total of $100,000. But in 2020, given the impact of the pandemic on playwrights throughout the industry, the Trust temporarily restructured the awards to reach a greater number of writers.
The recipients of the 2021 Steinberg Playwright Awards are:
- Jeff Augustin
- Clare Barron
- Eboni Booth
- Idris Goodwin
- Ike Holter
- Paola Lázaro
- Haruna Lee
- Mike Lew
- Ife Olujobi
- Jiehae Park
“While the configuration of the awards was redesigned to meet the unique needs of the last two years, their original spirit and intention remain the same: to recognize, encourage, and spotlight exceptional playwriting,” said Steinberg trustee William D. Zabel in a statement.
Added dramaturg Sarah Lunnie, a member of the advisory committee, in a statement: “The health, sanity, and sustainability of a civilization have always depended on its historians and its poets. Historians remind us where we have been to help us understand where we are standing. Poets imagine what could be, and by creating new proposals for the future, help bring it into being. These 10 playwrights do both, and we need them desperately right now. The committee is grateful for this opportunity to celebrate the depth of their artistry and the clarity of their vision.”
Advisory committee member Neil Pepe, artistic director of the Atlantic Theater Company, said in a statement, “It is truly an exciting time for playwriting in America, and we are honored and thrilled to support this group of extraordinary new voices. As we celebrate the return of live theatre, the Steinberg Awards’ steadfast and unwavering commitment to playwrights is more important than ever.”
The “Mimi” Awards are presented annually to playwrights in early and middle stages of their careers who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose work exhibits exceptional talent and artistic excellence. The awards celebrate the accomplishments of some of the most gifted up-and-coming American playwrights and honor the promise they hold for the future of American theatre.
In 2008, the board of directors created an advisory committee of seven prominent theatre professionals to establish the awards criteria, nominate individual candidates, and select recipients. In addition to Lunnie and Pepe, the 2021 advisory committee includes Jeremy B. Cohen, producing artistic director, the Playwrights’ Center; Snehal Desai, artistic director, East West Players; Oskar Eustis, artistic director, the Public Theater; Maria Manuela Goyanes, artistic director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co.; and Hana S. Sharif, artistic director, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
The board of trustees of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Carole A. Krumland, Susan C. Frunzi, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten, and William D. Zabel.
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