Theater critics honor three plays with Steinberg/ATCA Awards
Sarasota audiences will get a chance to sample one of the three plays honored as among the best new works produced New York.
Florida Studio Theatre has included Johnna Adams' play "Gidion's Knot" as one of the three plays featured in its annual Richard and Betty Burdick New Play Reading Series. The play reading will be at 7 p.m. May 6. The series runs Mondays from April 29 to May 13 in the Keating Theatre. For ticket information: 366-9000; floridastudiotheatre.org
"Gidion's Knot" received a citation as one of the best plays in the annual Steinberg/ATCA New Play Prize, announced by the American Theatre Critics Association on April 6 during ceremonies at the Humana Festival. The play about a mother trying to find out from a teacher what led to her son's death, was first produced last summer at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Adams received a $7,500 as a runner-up in the annual awards, the largest national new play award focusing on regional theaters in the United States.
The winning play was Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way," about Lyndon Johnson's efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Schenkkan, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Kentucky Cycle," received a $25,000 prize during the ceremonies. It had its premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
A second $7,500 citation was awarded to Lucas Hnath for "Death Tax," a drama that explores the implications of medical advances that can keep people alive indefinitely in 21st century America. The play had its premiere last year at the Humana Festival, presented at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
The winners were selected from among a record 42 plays considered by a 15-member play-reading committee. The association began honoring new plays in 1977. They have been funded since 2000 by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Past winners include Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman, August Wilson, Arthur Miller, Mac Wellman, Donald Margulies, Lynn Nottage, Moises Kaufman and Craig Lucas. For a complete list of winning writers and plays, visit www.americantheatrecritics.org.