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Christina Anderson. (Photo by Seth Freeman.)

Christina Anderson Wins Steinberg/ATCA Award for ‘the ripple, the wave that carried me home’

Her 2022 play took home the $25,000 prize, while Madison Fiedler won the Osborn Prize and Suzan-Lori Parks and Rebecca Gilman received citations for their work.

COSTA MESA, CALIF.: The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) has named Christina Anderson the winner of the 2023 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. Anderson wins the $25,000 award for her play the ripple, the wave that carried me home.

The Steinberg/ATCA Award recognizes an outstanding script that premiered professionally outside of New York City in 2022. the ripple, the wave that carried me home, which examines a daughter’s reckoning with her family’s legacy of political activism, premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2022, in association with the Goodman Theatre. The Goodman staged the play earlier this year, and it is currently running at Yale Repertory Theatre.

Aneisa J. Hicks, Christiana Clark, and Brianna Buckley in “the ripple, the wave that carried me home” at the Goodman Theatre. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Anderson is a playwright, TV and film writer, and award-winning photographer who was a 2022 Tony nominee for the book of the musical Paradise Square. Her work has been produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Geva Theatre Center, and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. She is the recipient of both the 2022 Horton Foote Prize and the Arthur Miller Legacy Award. A MacDowell fellow and New Dramatists resident, Anderson has taught playwriting at the David Geffen Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, and SUNY Purchase, and was the interim head of playwriting at Brown University. Since 2019, Anderson has produced hip-hop instrumentals under the moniker Purely Magenta.

This year’s Steinberg/ATCA awards were presented at a ceremony on May 6 as part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory. The ATCA also presented citations to Suzan-Lori Parks for Sally and Tom, which was produced by the Guthrie Theater, and to Rebecca Gilman for Swing State, which was produced by the Goodman. Both citations come with a $7,500 award. Additionally, the ATCA presented the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award to Madison Fiedler for her play Spay, which premiered at the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. The Osborn Award, which come with a $3,000 prize, recognizes the work of an emerging writer who has not yet received a major national award or New York City production.

ATCA began honoring new plays produced at regional theatres outside New York City in 1977, and awards $40,000 in annual prizes. The awards have been funded the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust since 2000. The trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg on behalf of himself and his late wife to support the American theatre.

The American Theatre Critics Association is the only national association of professional theatre critics in the United States. Since its founding in 1974, the ATCA has worked to foster greater communication among theatre critics and emerging writers, and to provide opportunities for members to explore the artistic resources of the nation.

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