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Photo (l.r.) Ayad Akhtar & Lucas Hnath

The Steinberg Charitable Trust Honored Pulitzer-Prize-winner Playwright " Ayad Akhtar " & Tony-Award Nominee " Lucas Hnath "with the 2017 

Steinberg " Mimi " Awards !

NEW YORK(SMI-WIRE,12.04.17)The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust celebrated its 10th annual Steinberg Playwright " Mimi " Awards this evening, honoring and awarding Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright " Disgraced " Ayad Akhtar and Tony-nominated A Doll’s House, Part 2 playwright Lucas Hnath with the 2017 Mimi Awards, at The Vivian Beamont Theater Lobby & The Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center.

The Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented biennially to playwrights in early and middle stages of their careers, who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose current bodies of work exhibit 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. Each recipient will receive a cash award of $50,000.

The event took place at The Vivian Beamont Theater Lobby & The Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center and featured performances by Emily Donahoe, Andrew Garman, Caroline Hewitt, Jayne Houdyshell, Nadine Malouf, Aasif Mandvi, Steven Pasquale, Matthew Rauch, Matthew Saldivar, Bernard White and Julie White. Additional attendees included : Tony Shalhoub, Kate Jennings Grant, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Lynne Meadow, Doug Hughes, J.T. Rogers, Rajiv Joseph, Neil Pepe & Zoe Winters.

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a novelist and author of American Dervish, published in over 20 languages worldwide. His play DISGRACED won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, ran on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, and was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. His plays THE WHO & THE WHAT and THE INVISIBLE HAND received Off-Broadway runs and are currently being produced around the world, garnering nominations for the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards in London this past year. His most recent play, JUNK received its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in 2016, winning the Craig Noel Award for Best New Play, and will open on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theatre in the fall of 2017. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for THE WAR WITHIN. He is also the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2 Obie Awards, a Jeff Award, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award. Akhtar has received fellowships from MacDowell, Djerassi, the Sundance Institute, Ucross, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. He is also a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theatre Workshop.

Lucas Hnath’s work includes A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2; HILLARY AND CLINTON; RED SPEEDO; THE CHRISTIANS; A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY; ISAAC’S EYE; and DEATH TAX. His plays have been produced nationally and internationally, including at Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival of New Plays, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Royal Court Theatre, and on Broadway at the John Golden Theater. He is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, a resident playwright of New Dramatists, and New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. Hnath is a recipient of an Obie, Guggenheim Fellowship, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, Whiting Award, Kesselring Prize, two Steinberg citations from the American Theatre Critics Association, and a 2017 Tony nomination for Best Play. He currently teaches playwriting at New York University’s Department of Dramatic Writing.

The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award and Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented in alternate years. Past recipients include:


·       Sarah Ruhl, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2016

·       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. 















About The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust:

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 more than $80 million to more than a hundred 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 Michael Cristofer, 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.

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