The playwright’s career will be recognized at a ceremony in November.
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust has announced Sarah Ruhl as the recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Ruhl will receive a cash prize of $200,000 and a statuette designed by David Rockwell at the Mimi Awards on Nov. 14 at Lincoln Center Theater.
“The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is incredibly honored to recognize the outstanding career of Sarah Ruhl this year,” said board member Jim Steinberg in a statement. “Her work sparks conversation in audiences of all ages with its emotionally vivid language, and we look forward to seeing — and experiencing —what comes next.”
An advisory committee of theatre professionals establishes the awards criteria, nominates individual candidates, and selects the recipients each year. The 2016 advisory committee comprised Paige Evans, Lynne Meadow, Carole Rothman, Molly Smith, Kent Thompson, Les Waters, and Chay Yew.
Ruhl’s plays include For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, The Clean House, Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play, Eurydice, Orlando, Late: A Cowboy Song, Dear Elizabeth ,and Stage Kiss. She has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist twice and was nominated for a Tony Award. Her plays have been produced internationally and translated into more than 12 languages. She is also the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Whiting Award, a Lilly Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Her book of essays, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She holds an MFA from Brown University, and she currently teaches at the Yale School of Drama.
“I was moved, honored, shocked, and incredibly heartened to receive this award that seemed to fall from the sky,” said Ruhl in a statement. “The generosity and thoughtfulness of this award is staggering. I’m so humbled to be part of the remarkable group that has received this award, and so grateful to the Steinberg Charitable Trust for renewing the lifeblood of the theatre with every award it gives to playwrights.”