Theater New (Enormous) Playwriting Award
posted by September 16 at 10:07 AMon
A writer who wins a Pulitzer Prize gets $10,000.
An architect who wins a Pritzker Prize gets $100,000.
But a playwright who wins the brand-new Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award gets a whole $200,000.
Just Saturday night, at the Genius Awards party, wasn’t somebody opining into a mircophone that playwrights—unlike actors and directors—can’t make a living at their art? That they have to teach or go to Hollywood to pay the rent?
You would think Tony Kushner would be an exception. But no:
Surprised and thrilled to be the first recipient of the new prize, Mr. Kushner said, “Playwriting is in a lot of trouble now,” adding that even someone who has “a string of successful plays cannot make a living at it.”
Mr. Kushner pointed to himself as a case in point, since he now divides his time between New York and Hollywood, working on a screenplay about Abraham Lincoln for Steven Spielberg, and another about Woody Guthrie. The screenplay for Mr. Spielberg’s “Munich,” written by Mr. Kushner and Eric Roth, was nominated for an Oscar.
Mr. Kushner said that he planned to put the money away “to buy me time to work on plays,” which he hopes to do full time when he finishes the two films.
The big prize is awarded every other year. In off years, the Steinberg panel will give two $50,000 awards to new playwrights. The first will be named next year.
Read the rest of the NYT story here.