Finalists Announced for 2023 Steinberg/ACTA New Play Award
Clockwise from left: Doug Wright, Madison Fiedler, Rebecca Gilman, Liz Duffy Adams
Clockwise from left: Doug Wright, Madison Fiedler, Rebecca Gilman, Liz Duffy Adams

New York, NY — The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) has announced six finalists for its 2023 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, recognizing the playwrights who produced the best scripts that premiered professionally outside of New York City in 2022.   The award, along with two citations, will be presented on May 7, 2023, at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA, as part of the annual Pacific Playwrights Festival. The Steinberg–ATCA is the largest national new play award program of its kind.   In 1977, ATCA began to honor new plays produced at regional theaters, as a way of balancing the existing awards landscape, which often focuses on works produced in New York. No play is eligible if it has gone on to a New York production within the award year. Since 2000, the award has been generously funded by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.  2023 Steinberg/ACTA New Play Award finalists  Born With Teeth by Liz Duffy Adams

An exuberant fantasia on an imaginary collaboration between William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, which members of the judging panel described as “bright, dangerous, with crackling dialogue and great characters.” Premiered by Alley Theatre, Houston, TX.  Good Night, Oscar by Doug Wright

Transcending the trappings of a traditional biographical play, this work explores addiction and mental illness through the perspective of mid-twentieth-century pianist, actor, and television personality Oscar Levant. A juror commented that the play explores how “we need our court jesters to reveal some essential truths … and suggests how Levant set the table for such transgressive and revelatory comedians as George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and others.” Premiered by Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL.    the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson

A tender and moving exploration of the legacy of political activism and the enduring bonds of family, judges described this play as “compelling,” “thoughtful” and “lyrical.” Premiered by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, CA, in association with Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL.  Sally & Tom by Suzan-Lori Parks

The complicated and often misinterpreted historical narrative of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings is explored through the lens of a play-within-a-play in this provocative new work. Said one judge: “This play is full of creative riches.” Premiered by Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN.  Spay by Madison Fiedler

Set in contemporary West Virginia, this play refracts the opioid epidemic through the lens of a family touched by tragedy and trying imperfectly to move forward. “This play lives in the uncomfortable realities of life,” said one judge. Premiered by Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Chicago, IL.  Swing State by Rebecca Gilman

A topical consideration of many contemporary themes, this Wisconsin-set work examines the lives and concerns of rural individuals that often go unreported. As one judge put it: “Beautiful and nuanced, not overwrought in spite of charged emotions, with plenty to say in a social and political way, without ever straying from the very human.” Premiered by Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL.