jakub | May 7, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Pulitzer Prize, Steinberg New Play Award, LA Drama Critics Circle, and More

NEW YORK CITY: Eboni Booth has been awarded the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Primary Trust. The play premiered at Roundabout Theatre Company. This year’s finalists included Here There Are Blueberries by Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich (New York Theatre Workshop, Tectonic Theater Project), and Public Obscenities by Shayok Misha Chowdhury (Theatre for A New Audience, Soho Rep, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, NAATCO National Partnership Project). The Pulitzer Prize for Drama awards $15,000 for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.

The jury described Pimary Trust as “a simple and elegantly crafted story of an emotionally damaged man who finds a new job, new friends, and a new sense of worth, illustrating how small acts of kindness can change a person’s life and enrich an entire community.”

American Theatre recently published the full text of Primary Trust in our spring print issue. You can subscribe to receive issues in your mailbox and read an interview about the play with Booth by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

The jury members for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Drama included Janice Simpson (chair), Lisa Fung, Lily Janiak, Chay Yew, and Tracy Letts.

COSTA MESA, CALIF.: Lloyd Suh has won this year’s Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) New Play Award for his play The Heart Sellers.

The Steinberg/ATCA Award recognizes an outstanding play that premiered professionally outside of New York City, and comes with a $25,000 prize. The Heart Sellers debuted at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Suh was presented with the award during the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Citations were also presented to I Carry Your Heart With Me by Jennifer Blackmer at Third Avenue PlayWorks in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. and to K-I-S-S-I-N-G by Lenelle Moïse at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company. ATCA also presented the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award to Jennifer Vosters for Songs Without Words at the Milwaukee Fringe Festival.

NEW YORK CITY: The Lucille Lortel Awards were held over the weekend at NYU Skirball, honoring the Off-Broadway season.

Winning productions included Signature Theatre’s The Comeuppance by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins for Outanding Play; (pray) by nicHi douglas with music by S T A R R Busby and JJJJJerome Ellis, produced by Ars Nova and National Black Theatre, for Outstanding Musical; Brian Friel’s Translations at Irish Repertory Theatre for Outstanding Revival; All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain, created and performed by Patrick Page and produced by Mara Isaacs, Thomas M. Neff, Willette and Manny Klausner, 42nd.Club, and Daryl Roth, for Outstanding Solo Show.

Winning artists included nicHi Douglas for Outstanding Director for (pray); Patricia Delgado and Justin Peck for Outstanding Choreographer for Buena Vista Social Club at the Atlantic Theater Company; Eli Gelb of Stereophonic at Playwrights Horizons for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play; Natalie Venetia Belcon of Buena Vista Social Club for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical; Kecia Lewis of Hell’s Kitchen at the Public Theater for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical; and the ensemble of (pray).

Winning designers included Kate Noll of Wet Brain at Playwrights Horizons for Outstanding Scenic Design; Lux Haac of Manahatta at the Public for Outstanding Costume Design; Amith Chandrashaker of The Comeuppance for Outstanding Lighting Design; Ryan Rumery of Stereophonic for Outstanding Sound Design; and Nick Hussong of Wet Brain for Outstanding Projection Design.

Additionally, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ruben Santiago-Hudson; playwright Dominique Morisseau was honored with a star on the Playwrights’ Sidewalk; and Ars Nova was recognized for its Outstanding Body of Work.

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) announced their 54th annual awards, honoring 14 different productions.

Theatre of NOTE’s production of Kill Shelter, written by Ashley Rose Wellman and directed by Shaina Rosenthal, received the award of Prestigious Production. Wellman also received the Ted Schmitt Award for World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play, and Rosenthal won for her direction. Wellman will receive a cash prize from the Black List. Kill Shelter and Pasadena Playhouse’s production of A Little Night Music both led the awards count.

Playwrights Bernardo Cubría and Rosie Narasaki were both honored for their writing achievements, Cubría for Crabs in a Bucket at Echo Theater Company and Narasaki for Unrivaled at Playwrights’ Arena and Boston Court Pasadena.

The Polly Warfield Award for Best Season by a Small to Midsized Theatre went to Rogue Machine Theatre. The Gordon Davidson Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Los Angeles Theatrical Community was presented to producer Joseph Stern. The Joel Hirschhorn Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre was presented to Pasadena Playhouse for their celebration of Stephen Sondheim. The Milton Katselas Award for Career or Special Achievement in Direction was presented to Michael Michetti. The Kinetic Lighting Award was presented to Pablo Santiago, who will receive a cash award from Kinetic Lighting. Finally, the Margaret Harford Award for Excellence in Theatre was presented to Echo Theater Company.

A full list of honorees is available on the LADCC website.

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