Two additional playwrights, Sarah Ruhl and Deborah Laufer, will receive $7,500 each for their plays, Dead Man's Cell Phone and End Days. A group of 12 national critics determines the nominees and winners.
This year's other finalists were The Crowd You're in With by Rebecca Gilman, The English Channel by Robert Brustein, and Strike-Slip by Naomi Iizuka.
In 33 Variations, which debuted in September at Washington's Arena Stage and opens next month at the La Jolla Playhouse, Kaufman offers a fictional imagining of Beethoven's creation of 33 brilliant variations on a prosaic waltz. His obsessive pursuit of perfection parallels a modern tale of a terminally-ill musicologist struggling with her own obsession to unearth the source of Beethoven's.
Since the inception of ATCA's New Play Award in 1977, honorees have included Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman, August Wilson, Jane Martin, Arthur Miller, Mac Wellman, Adrienne Kennedy, Donald Margulies, Lee Blessing, Lynn Nottage, Horton Foote, Craig Lucas, and Peter Sinn-Nachtrieb.
For more information on ATCA, visit www.americantheatrecritics.org.