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Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) are pleased to announce Manhattan Theatre Club will present the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production ofAIRLINE HIGHWAY, the new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lisa D’Amour (Detroit), directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Casa ValentinaTake Me Out).

Published in Broadway







{module ad_left_body}New York, NY (September 28, 2011) -  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust today announced that Lisa D’Amour and Melissa James Gibson will each be presented with the Steinberg Playwright Award at the 4th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards. The Mimi Awards promote theater as a vital part of our culture by nurturing American playwrights and encouraging the development and production of new American plays.   

The Steinberg Playwright Awards will be given on Monday, November 14th at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City.   The Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented biennially, and are uniquely positioned 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.   

"We’re honored to support the artistic excellence of these two outstanding playwrights,” said Jim Steinberg.  “We hope that the recognition they garner from these awards will continue to propel their work forward and allow it to be seen by an even broader audience.  We are pleased that in the past few years there has been a substantial increase in support for and recognition of emerging and mid- career playwrights and the vital role they play in the American theatre."

In 2008, the Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust established an Advisory Committee of prominent theater professionals responsible for establishing the criteria for the Steinberg Playwright Awards, as well as the nomination and selection processes.  The 2011 Advisory Committee is comprised of Susan Booth, Artistic Director of the Alliance Theater; Polly Carl, Director, American Voices New Play Institute; Jeremy Cohen, Producing Artistic Director, The Playwrights’ Center; David Emmes, Producing Artistic Director, South Coast Repertory; Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater; Todd London, Artistic Director of New Dramatists; and Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theater Club. 

The Committee has elected to honor playwrights Lisa D’Amour and Melissa James Gibson for their extraordinary artistic achievement.  Both playwrights will be presented with a cash award of $50,000 along with “The Mimi,” a statuette designed by Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect David Rockwell.  

“Our choice of these two writers reflects a commitment to not only celebrate this moment in their careers, but to ensure they continue sharing their unique, powerful and distinctly theatrical voices with audiences for many years to come,” said Advisory Board Member Jeremy Cohen, The Playwrights’ Center.   “By supporting them, the Steinberg Trust is honoring their achievement, expressing confidence in their future, and making the world a better place for working playwrights,” continued Advisory Board Member, Oskar Eustis.

Lisa D’Amour is a playwright and interdisciplinary artist.  Lisa’s plays have been produced by theatres across the country, including The Women’s Project, Clubbed Thumb, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, New Georges, Salvage Vanguard Theatre and Children’s Theatre Company.  She has received commissions from Playwrights’ Horizons, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Guthrie and a Sloan Commission from Manhattan Theatre Club.  Lisa’s latest play, Detroit, premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in 2010, directed by Austin Pendleton, and will open on Broadway in the 2011/12 season, produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Debbie Bisno in association with Steppenwolf Theatre.  Detroit was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn prize.   In 2008, D’Amour was awarded the Alpert Award for the Arts in theatre.   As a playwright, Lisa has received fellowships from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations through the Playwrights’ Center, an independent artist commission from NYSCA (for Stanley 2006, created with her brother Todd D’Amour) and an NEA/TCG Playwrights’ Residency. With Katie Pearl, she is co-artistic director of PearlDamour, a company that makes collaborative, often site-specific performances.  PearlDamour’s work has been presented by PS122, HERE Arts Center and the Walker Arts Center, among others, and their latest performance installation How to Build a Forest premiered at The Kitchen in New York City in June.With PearlDamour, she is a three-time recipient of project funding from the Rockefeller MAP Fund and a 2009 Creative Capital grantee.   Lisa received her M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in English and Theatre from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.  Lisa is a New Dramatists alumni. 

Melissa James Gibson’s plays include THIS (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); [sic] (OBIE Award for playwriting, Kesselring Prize, The Best Plays of 2001-02); SUITCASE or, those that resemble flies from a distance (NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights); BROOKLYN BRIDGE, with a song by Barbara Brousal (AT&T Onstage award); and CURRENT NOBODY (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist).  Her work has been produced and/ or developed at Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, Soho Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Children’s Theatre Company, Steppenwolf, ATF, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Seattle Rep and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, among others, regionally and internationally. Current commissions: Atlantic Theater Company; Manhattan Theater Club (Sloan Foundation); Second Stage Theatre. Honors: Jerome Fellow; MacDowell Colony Fellow; Whiting Writers Award; Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights’ Fellowship; Guggenheim Fellowship; LILLY Award. MFA: Yale School of Drama; graduate of New Dramatists. Teaching: Lecturer in the Program in Theater at Princeton University, spring semester 2011. THIS and Other Plays is forthcoming from TCG.

The Steinberg Playwright Awards and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Awards are presented in alternate years. Past recipients are:

·         Lynn Nottage, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2010

·         David Adjmi, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bruce Norris, Steinberg Playwright Awards, 2009 

·         Tony Kushner, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, 2008

The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award honors the artistic achievement of a playwright whose work has made a significant impact on American theater. The Steinberg Playwright Award is awarded to playwrights who exhibit exceptional talent and tremendous promise in earlier stages of their careers.    

About The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust:

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created by Harold Steinberg in 1986 in the names of himself and his late wife Miriam, sometimes known as “Mimi.”  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 theater companies across the country.

Since its inception, the Trust has given in excess of $50 million to more than one hundred not-for-profit theater organizations.  These gifts have funded countless productions, as well as the commissioning of playwrights, playwriting programs and arts-in-education outreach programs for thousands of children in an effort to create and educate new generations of theatergoers.

The Trust also collaborated with the American Theater Critics Association to create and fund the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award.  The award is presented annually during the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theater of Louisville.  Recent winners of this award include Craig Lucas, Lynn Nottage, Lee Blessing and Nilo Cruz.

The members of the Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Carole A. Krumland, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten and William D. Zabel.




FALL 2011

DETROIT, a new American play by Lisa D’Amour, will arrive on Broadway early fall 2011.

The play received its world premiere at Chicago’s illustrious Steppenwolf Theatre Company this past fall, under the direction of Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton (Orson’s Shadow, The Little Foxes, this season’s Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company), who will return to direct the Broadway production.

Detroit will mark the Broadway debut for Lisa D’Amour, who as a playwright, actress and interdisciplinary performance artist, has previously appeared at PS122, HERE Arts Center, Salvage Vanguard, Infernal Bridegroom Productions, the Walker Arts Center, Crowded Fire Theater, Children’s Theater Company, Clubbed Thumb, HERE Arts Center, New Geroges, Theater of a Two Headed Calf, and the Women’s Project.

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In a “first ring” suburb outside a mid-sized American city, Ben and Mary fire up the grill to welcome the new neighbors who’ve moved into the long-empty house next door. The fledgling friendship soon veers out of control - with unexpected consequences. Shining a light on the middle class American Dream, Detroitlooks at what happens when we open ourselves up to something new.

DETROIT will be presented by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Debbie Bisno, in association with Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Artistic Director: Martha Lavey, Executive Director: David Hawkanson) Richards and Frankel previously teamed up with Steppenwolf to present Tracy Letts’ Tony and Pulitzer winning August: Osage Countyand Superior Donuts on Broadway.

Steppenwolf’s previous Broadway outings include the 2001 Tony winning revival of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the 1990 Tony winning Best Play The Grapes of Wrath, and the 1993 Tony nominated Song of Jacob Zulu.

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LISA D’AMOUR is a playwright and one half of PearlDamour, an interdisciplinary performance company she runs with her creative partner Katie Pearl.  Lisa's play Detroit opened the 2010-11 season at Steppenwolf Theater, directed by Austin Pendleton.  Next up for PearlDamour is How to Build a Forest at The Kitchen Theater in New York, during which PearlDamour and visual artist Shawn Hall will assemble and disassemble a simulated forest on stage over the course of 8 hours.  Lisa’s work has been presented by theaters such as Salvage Vanguard, Infernal Bridegroom Productions, the Walker Arts Center, Red Eye Theater, Crowded Fire Theater, Children’s' Theater Company, Clubbed Thumb, HERE Arts Center, PS122, New Georges, Theater of a Two-Headed Calf and the Women's Project, and has been supported by the Creative Capital, the MAP Fund, the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, NYSCA and the NEA/TCG Residency for Playwrights.  She received an OBIE Award along with Katie Pearl and Kathy Randels for Nita & Zita, and received the Alpert Award in the Arts for theater in 2008.  She is core alum of the Playwrights’ Center and an alumna of New Dramatists.  Lisa lives with her husband Brendan Connelly in   Brooklyn and New Orleans.  She often collaborates with the N.O. based ArtSpot Productions on interdisciplinary performance projects. /

AUSTIN PENDLETON (Director) has been a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 1987. His previous directing credits at Steppenwolf include Love Song, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Harvey, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Three Sisters, Loose Ends, and Say Goodnight, Gracie. His direction of Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes garnered him a Tony Award nomination. In 2009, Pendleton directed Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company starring Maggie Gyllenhall and Peter Saarsgard as well as Tennesee Williams’ Vieux Carré at The Pearl Theatre Company. Pendleton penned the plays Uncle Bob, Booth, and Orson's Shadow, all of which were staged in Chicago and off-Broadway. As an actor, he won a Drama Desk Award and an OBIE Award for The Last Sweet Days of Isaac. He recently appeared in the Public Theater production of Mother Courage and Her Children, on Broadway in the revival of The Diary of Anne Frank ,and off-Broadway in the title roles of Hamlet, Richard III, and Richard II. His film credits include Dirty Work, The Ballad of Betty Page, A Beautiful Mind, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Simon, Trial and Error, What’s Up Doc, Catch-22, and Wall Street 2. Recent TV appearances include episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, OZ, and Homicide. Pendleton served as Artistic Director for Circle Repertory Company with Associate Artistic Director Lynne Thigpen. He is a graduate of Yale University and currently teaches directing at The New School. There is a documentary film in production on Austin’s life and work called The Austin Pendleton Project: Where The Work Is co-directed by Gene Gallerann and David Holmes.

STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY, Chicago, IL. (Martha Lavey, Artistic Director; David Hawkanson, Executive Director) is one of the nation’s leading ensemble theatres, producing up to 16 productions each year in its three Chicago theater spaces – including programming dedicated to the development of new plays and theatre for young adults.  Steppenwolf’s productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin.  Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. For additional information, visit