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Ayad Akhtar and Lucas Hnath to Receive 2017 Steinberg Playwright Awards

The playwrights will be honored in a ceremony at Lincoln Center Theater.

Ayad Akhtar and Lucas Hnath are the 2017 recipients of the Steinberg Playwright Award.
(© David Gordon/Tricia Baron)

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust has announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar and 2017 Tony Award-nominated playwright Lucas Hnath are the recipients of 2017 Steinberg Playwright Awards. The writers will be honored at the 10th annual "Mimi" Awards, to be held Monday, December 4, at Lincoln Center Theater.

The Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented biennially to playwrights in early and middle stages of their careers, who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose current bodies of work exhibit exceptional talent and artistic excellence. The awards celebrate the accomplishments of some of the most gifted up-and-coming American playwrights and honor the promise they hold for the future of American theater. Each recipient will receive a cash award of $50,000.

Akhtar, whose work largely centers around the Muslim-American experience, earned a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for his drama Disgraced, which came to Broadway in 2014 and earned a 2015 Tony nomination for Best Play. Akhtar's other plays include The Who & the What, The Invisible Hand, and Junk, coming to Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in October. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within, and is also the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Obie Awards, a Jeff Award, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award.

Hnath made his Broadway debut last season with A Doll's House, Part 2, earning a 2017 Tony nomination for Best Play. His other work includes Hillary and Clinton, Red Speedo, The Christians, A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, Isaac's Eye, and Death Tax. He is a recipient of an Obie, Guggenheim Fellowship, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, Whiting Award, Kesselring Prize, and two Steinberg citations from the American Theatre Critics Association.

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created by Harold Steinberg in 1986 in his name and the name of his late wife, Miriam. The Trust's primary mission is to support and promote the American theater as a vital part of our culture by nurturing American playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new American plays, and providing significant support to not-for-profit theater companies across the country.

The 2017 Advisory Committee for the 2017 Steinberg Playwright Awards includes Paige Evans (artistic director, Signature Theatre Company); Lynne Meadow (artistic director, Manhattan Theatre Club); Carole Rothman (artistic director, Second Stage Theatre); Molly Smith (artistic director, Arena Stage); Kent Thompson (theater director, producer, and author); Les Waters (artistic director, Actors Theatre of Louisville); and Chay Yew (artistic director, Victory Gardens Theater).