Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph to Be Honored with Steinberg Playwright 'Mimi' Awards on 11/18
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust today announced it will honor playwrights Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph at the Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright "Mimi" Awards on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York. The "Mimi" Awards are presented biennially to honor the accomplishments of some of the most gifted up-and-coming American Playwrights and to recognize the promise they hold for the future of American theater.
"The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is extremely proud to honor both Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph with this year's Steinberg Playwright Awards," said Jim Steinberg, a member of the Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. "Both playwrights have produced extremely influential and successful work, which is an extraordinary accomplishment for two such young artists. We look forward to seeing many new works by both Ms. Baker and Mr. Joseph as their careers continue to grow."
The Steinberg Playwright Award is given to dramatists in early and middle stages of their careers, who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose current bodies of work exhibit exceptional talent, artistic excellence, and continued potential for powerful contributions to the American theater.
"The combination of Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph provides a dazzling example of the range of contemporary American playwriting," Todd London, Artistic Director, New Dramatists, added. "The devastating and provocative quietude of Annie's plays is as different as can be from the extravagant, blood-pumping vitality of Rajiv's. They share, though, a devotion to formal exploration, a pursuit of deep human emotion and, in nearly opposite milieus, a commitment to theatricality."
"This kind of encouragement and appreciation of my work means the world to me," Baker said. "Playwriting is a tricky business, and recognition like this lets you know that maybe, just maybe, your work has touched people."
"Annie Baker is quite simply one of the most exciting and distinctive voices writing in American theater today," Neil Pepe, Artistic Director of the Atlantic Theater Company and 2013 Advisory Committee Member said. "Her plays are revelatory in their ability to quietly mine the essential humanity of the characters through uncompromising attention to truth and detail. The result is work that is profoundly original, wonderfully comic and deeply heartbreaking."
"It's a huge honor to even be considered for this award," Rajiv Joseph said about his selection. "The past recipients of the Steinberg Award are all playwriting heroes of mine, and I'm humbled to join that list of names."
"Rajiv is a profoundly gifted playwright and creator of some of the most poetic and lyrical, soaring theatrical storytelling today. He is that rare balance of warmth and wisdom, generosity and diligence and perseverance, curiosity and release," said Jeremy Cohen, Artistic Director of The Playwrights' Center. "Sometimes when I watch plays, I feel deeply aware of the artifice of the form -- but when I'm watching Rajiv's worlds unfold, I'm constantly reminded that I'm in a place designed to elevate humanity greater than the mundane, yet with the simplicity of breath that he respires into each and every world he creates."
This year's event will also recognize and honor 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award recipient, David Henry Hwang, whose Fall 2012 celebration was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.
"Receiving the Mimi Award is an extravagant blessing, which overwhelms me with gratitude," David Henry Hwang said. "My deep thanks to the Steinberg Trust and Board for its visionary support of American Playwrights, and to the Advisory Committee, who saw fit to include me among the extraordinary dramatists who have received this life-changing gift."