Wednesday, March 11, 2009

JIHAD JONES Playwright Is Finalist For Largest National Playwrighting Award

InterAct congratulates and wishes luck to the playwright of InterAct's upcoming JIHAD JONES & THE KALASHNIKOV BABES, Yussef El Guindi, on his nomination for the 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA Award. Nominated for his play, OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT, Yussef is one of six finalists for the award given annually by The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA), recognizing the best new scripts produced professionally outside New York City during 2008. OUR ENEMIES depicts Muslim-Americans struggling among themselves over how to portray their cultural identity and how deeply to assimilate in the post-9/11 world. The play was produced in March 2008 by Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago.

The other finalists for the 2009 award are Steven Dietz, playwright of InterAct's production of LAST OF THE BOYS, who is nominated for his play BECKY's NEW CAR; Lee Blessing, playwright of WHEN WE GO UPON THE SEA which was commissioned by InterAct in 2008, who is nominated for his play, GREAT FALLS; Octavio Solis; E.M. Lewis; and Tracy Letts.

Consideration for the Steinberg/ATCA awards is limited to new plays not yet produced in New York City by the end of the year. The six 2009 finalists were selected from plays nominated by ATCA members, then evaluated by a committee of 13 theater critics from around the country. The winner and two additional citations will be presented April 4 at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays. The top award includes a cash prize of $25,000 – currently the largest national new play award – with $7,500 for each citation.

Read more about the Steinberg Award and this year's nominees here.

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