Theatre luminaries will gather on Monday, November 14, 2016, to honor award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl with the 2016 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, presented by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Scenes highlighting her diverse body of work will be presented at the annual ceremony, which takes place Lincoln Center Theater’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
The evening will feature remarks by Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director of Manhattan Theatre Club, James Lundy from Yale Repertory Theatre and Todd London, Executive Director and Professor at University of Washington’s School of Drama, followed by performances of Ruhl’s work. Celia Keenan-Bolger will perform the epilogue from THE OLDEST BOY; Blair Brown, Jessica Hecht and Polly Noonan will perform essays from 100 ESSAYS I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WRITE; Maria Dizzia and Joseph J. Parks, original cast members from the off-Broadway production of EURYDICE, will perform a scene from the show; and Kathleen Chalfant will perform a monologue from FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY.
The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award is presented biennially to honor and encourage the artistic excellence and achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theatre. The recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award receives a cash award of $200,000.
The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award and Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented in alternate years. Past recipients include:
· Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Dominique Morisseau, Steinberg Playwright Awards, 2015
· Stephen Adly Guirgis, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2014
· Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph, Steinberg Playwright Awards, 2013
· David Henry Hwang, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2012
· Lisa D’Amour and Melissa James Gibson, Steinberg Playwright Awards, 2011
· Lynn Nottage, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2010
· David Adjmi, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bruce Norris, Steinberg Playwright Awards, 2009
· Tony Kushner, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2008
Along with a monetary award, playwrights receive “The Mimi,” a statuette designed by David Rockwell, Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect.
In 2008, the Board of Directors created an advisory committee of prominent theater professionals to establish the awards criteria, nominate individual candidates and select each recipient. The 2016 Advisory Committee is comprised of Paige Evans, Artistic Director, Signature Theatre Company; Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club; Carole Rothman, Artistic Director, Second Stage Theatre; Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Arena Stage; Kent Thompson, Artistic Director, Denver Center Theatre Company; Les Waters, Artistic Director, Actors Theatre of Louisville; and Chay Yew, Artistic Director, Victory Gardens Theater.
The Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is made up of Carole A. Krumland, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten and William D. Zabel.
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created by Harold Steinberg in 1986 in his name and the name of his late wife, Miriam. The Trust’s primary mission is to support and promote the American theater as a vital part of our culture by nurturing American Playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new American plays, and providing significant support to not-for-profit theater companies across the country.
Since its inception, the Trust has given over $100 million to more than 150 not-for-profit theater organizations. These gifts have funded countless productions, as well as the commissioning of playwrights, playwriting programs and arts-in-education outreach programs for thousands of children in an effort to create and educate new generations of theatergoers.
The Trust also collaborated with the American Theater Critics Association to create and fund the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. That award is presented annually during the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theater of Louisville. Recipients of this award include Qui Nguyen, Rebecca Gilman, Lauren Gunderson, Robert Schenkkan, Yussef El Guindi, Bill Cain, E.M. Lewis, Moises Kaufman, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Lee Blessing, Craig Lucas, Lynn Nottage, Nilo Cruz, Horton Foote, Jane Martin and Regina Taylor.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.