Jeff Daniels' THE MEANING OF ALMOST EVERYTHING, Running at Purple Rose, Nominated For ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award
The Purple Rose Theatre Company is thrilled to announce that Jeff Daniels' The Meaning of Almost Everything has been recommended for consideration for the American Theatre Critics Association's annual ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, honoring new scripts produced outside of New York City in the calendar year 2013.
The Meaning of Almost Everything premiered at the PRTC in January of 2013. With elements of slapstick, vaudeville, tragedy and farce, this exuberant romp of a play explores the pain and the joy of human existence. The story follows two men, "A" and "B," who exist in an undefined place and time, a place of safety and comfort, but also a place where nothing happens. One man wants to remain. The other isn't so sure. Through their feats are daring (and sometimes cowardice), they stumble through the darkness to find the big answers to life's big questions. This comedy questions the nature of our world and the absurdity of it all.
When asked about the impetus for The Meaning of Almost Everything, playwright Jeff Daniels explains, "I've never been one to think whatever may come after this life will be better. One can always hope and pray and believe, sure, but given the choice between the known and the unknown, frankly, it seems a lot of us would rather just stay put, thank you very much. That's the "What if...?" that drove the writing on this one. How do we turn this life of ours into an everlasting one? Forget leaving a legacy or living on in other people's memories, I mean staying put. Right here, right now, forever and ever. That it doesn't work that way is the conflict in the play. And in us."
The American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award dates back to 1977. Any play receiving its professional premiere as a finished work, outside of New York City, is eligible for nomination, as long as it hasn't opened in New York by the end of the calendar year. Plays are nominated for the Steinberg/ATCA Award by ATCA members. Scripts are then read and honorees selected by a large committee of critics from different regions of the country, and the recent practice has been to announce the awards at the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors' Theatre of Louisville. Many ATCA Award selections have gone on to major off-Broadway or Broadway productions, and many have received subsequent other awards.
This is Mr. Daniels' third ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award nomination. He was also nominated for his plays Guest Artist (2006) and Across the Way (2002). The Meaning of Almost Everything is also the seventh nomination for plays premiering at the PRTC. Other nominations include Guest Artist by Jeff Daniels (2006), Leaving Iowa by Tim Clue & Spike Manton (2003), Across the Way by Jeff Daniels (2002), Rain Dance by Lanford Wilson (2001), The Hole by Wendy Hammond (1999), and Book of Days by Lanford Wilson (1998). Book of Days by Lanford Wilson won the prestigious New Play Award in 1999.
PRTC Artistic Director, Guy Sanville, has had the honor of directing six out of the seven ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award nominated plays that premiered at The Purple Rose. "Working on new plays is the most important part of our mission. To create new work with the likes of Jeff Daniels, Lanford Wilson and so many others has been my life's work and greatest honor," says Sanville.
Founded in 1991 by actor and Chelsea native, Jeff Daniels, The Purple Rose Theatre Company (PRTC) is the home of world-class, original American theatre. The PRTC is a professional theatre company with roots in the Midwest that takes a handcrafted, artisanal approach to producing new and classic American plays that are nothing less than one-of-a-kind experiences. The PRTC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit professional theatre operating under a Small Professional Theatre agreement with the Actors' Equity Association.