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Tony Award-Winner Anika Noni Rose Joins 2010 ‘Steinberg Awards’ to Honor Lynn Nottage on November 8

Rick Miramontez / Molly Barnett / Elizabeth Wagner
rick@oandmco.com / molly@oandmco.com / elizabeth@oandmco.com



New York, NY (11/3/10) – Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change; Dreamgirls; For Colored Girls) joins the lineup of top theatrical talent who will pay tribute to playwright Lynn Nottage, recipient of the 2010 ‘Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award’, presented by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Scenes highlighting Ms. Nottage’s work will include Ruined, Intimate Apparel and a preview of her upcoming By The Way, Meet Vera Stark. Ms. Rose joins previously announced actors Quincy Tyler Bernstine (In the Next Room), two-time Tony Award-winner and Oscar-nominee Viola Davis (Fences, King Hedley II), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (The Brother/Sister Plays), Russell Hornsby (Intimate Apparel), and Condola Rashad (Ruined). The 3rd Annual ‘Mimi’ Awards will be presented at a ceremony to be held Monday, November 8, 2010 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center Theater (150 West 65th Street).

The ‘Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award’ honors the artistic achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theater. This honor comes with a cash prize of $200,000, making this by far the largest award ever created to honor and encourage artistic achievement in the American theater. The first ‘Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award’ went to Tony Kushner in 2008.

In 2009 The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust presented David Adjmi, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bruce Norris with the first ‘Steinberg Playwright Awards’. The Advisory Committee and the Steinberg Trust honored Mr. Norris for his body of work and outstanding potential (for which he received a $50,000 cash award), and Messrs. Adjmi and McCraney for being promising new voices in the theater (for which they each received a cash award of $25,000). The playwrights were also presented with ‘The Mimi,’ a statue designed by Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect David Rockwell. The ‘Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award’ (for established playwrights) and the ‘Steinberg Playwright Awards’ (for playwrights in earlier stages of their careers), both known as ‘The Mimi,’ are presented in alternating years.

On behalf of the Advisory Committee, Susan Booth said “The unassailable humanity of Lynn's writing makes us understand, not just in our minds, but in our core, the lives of the unseen. She affords a kind of dignity to her characters and their stories that is bracing in its reminder to pay attention; she's not simply writing great plays — she's restoring compassion as a critical filter in our audiences.”

“Lynn Nottage has produced a distinguished and exhilarating body of work, plays that consistently demand that we look at the world around us with greater compassion, engagement and responsibility,” continued Oskar Eustis. “She's not only a wonderful writer; she's an exemplary citizen and public intellectual. Her writing embodies an expansive, ambitious model of making theater that matters, and she's a wonderful recipient of the second Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.”

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 process. The current members of the Advisory Committee are Susan Booth, Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre; Polly Carl, Director of Artistic Development, Steppenwolf Theatre Company; David Emmes, Producing Artistic Director, South Coast Repertory; Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater; Todd London, Artistic Director of New Dramatists; playwright Eduardo Machado; and Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club.

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.

Anika Noni Rose___________________________________________________

Most recently, you may have heard Anika as the voice of ‘Princess Tiana’ in Disney’s The Princess & The Frog. A self motivated young woman with a big dream, Tiana is a new and special kind of Disney Princess, and has led The Princess & The Frog to three Oscar nominations, including Best Animated feature and Best Songs (Almost There and Down in New Orleans). Anika is recently finished filming Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, a series of 20 poems based on the stage by Ntozake Shange, referred collectively as a “choreopoem”, dealing with love, abandonment, rape, and abortion. Her character, Yasmine, is the owner, dance instructor and dancer at Yasmine’s Rhythm. In the film, Yasmine finds herself in an uncompromising situation with Bill, a new acquaintance and potential love interest. The film will be released nationwide November 5, 2010. She made her first trip to Africa with The No. 1 Ladies Detective agency, portraying secretary ‘Mma. Makutsi’. Shot entirely on location in Botswana, it was director Anthony Minghella’s last project and aired on HBO and the BBC. It also received the prestigious Peabody Award this year. Following the Peabody Awards, Anika presented at this year’s Obie Awards in New York. A Tony Award winner, Anika trained at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. Shortly after moving to New York, she transitioned to the Broadway stage with a featured role in Footloose. She later garnered an Obie Award with Off-Broadway’s Laura Nyro retrospective, Eli’s Comin’, and earned a Lucille Lortel award for her portrayal of ‘Emmie Thibodeaux’ in Tony Kushner’s Caroline or Change, which went from The Public Theater, to Broadway in the spring of 2004. For this, she also received a Tony Award for featured actress in a musical, The Theater World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award, and a Drama Desk nomination. Anika went with the play to the west coast where she picked up The Los Angeles Critics’ Circle Award and an Ovation Award. Her next stop was the big screen, playing ‘Lorrell Robinson’ in Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls. The movie received an AFI ensemble award, and was nominated for a SAG award. Anika herself received a nomination for an NAACP award and both the soundtrack and the song “Patience” were nominated for Oscars. From there, it was back to Broadway where Anika starred as ‘Maggie,’ in Deborah Allen’s acclaimed production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Anika has sung all over the world, including the 79th Annual Academy Awards, and The Vatican. She also recently received an honorary PhD. from Florida A&M University. Anika is currently involved in the re-working of the classic musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, directed by Michael Mayer.

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