Alumna Paola Lázaro ’13 Receives 2021 Steinberg Playwright Award

BY Emma Schillage, January 7, 2022

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust recently announced the names of the 10 outstanding playwrights who will be celebrated with the 2021 Steinberg Playwright Award. One of the recipients is Playwriting alumna Paola Lázaro ’13.


Each recipient will receive a monetary prize of $10,000.


Advisory committee member Neil Pepe, artistic director of the Atlantic Theater Company, commented, “It is truly an exciting time for playwriting in America, and we are honored and thrilled to support this group of extraordinary new voices. As we celebrate the return of live theatre, the Steinberg Awards’ steadfast and unwavering commitment to playwrights is more important than ever.”


The Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented annually to playwrights in the early and middle stages of their careers. The committee looks for playwrights who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose work exhibits exceptional talent and artistic excellence. 


Paola Lázaro is a playwright and actress born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase College and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. Her play Tell Hector I Miss Him at Atlantic Theater was nominated for a Drama League Award for Best Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play and for an Outer Critics Circle Award for the John Gassner Playwriting Award.

In 2017 she was selected as a Sundance Theatre Lab writer with her play There's Always the Hudson (2017 Relentless Award finalist) and as a Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellow. Paola was Atlantic Theater Company's 2016-2017 Tow Playwright-in-Residence. In 2015, she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her role in To the Bone. She was also selected for the Van Lier Playwright Residency at the Public Theater 2018-2020.