Professor Lloyd Suh Awarded Steinberg Playwright Award

Anastasia Ellis
December 20, 2022

Fall 2022 Adjunct Assistant Professor Lloyd Suh has been awarded a 2022 Steinberg Playwright Award. Suh was given the award alongside Fat Ham playwright James Ijames. Each recipient will receive $100,000. 

The Steinberg Playwright Awards are run by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Harold Steinberg founded the Trust in 1968 to support American theatre as a vital part of the nation’s culture. The Trust encourages the development of new American plays and supports nonprofit theatres around the country.   

This year marks an expansion of the Steinberg Playwright Awards, both in terms of the monetary amount awarded and the intentions for the playwrights honored by the awards. In 2020, the Trust temporarily restructured the Steinberg Playwright Awards to reach more writers during the pandemic; rather than give large sums to two playwrights, the Trust instead gave $10,000 to twenty different playwrights. In 2021, it did the same, but for ten playwrights. This year, the Steinberg Playwright Awards return to their pre-pandemic model by honoring only two playwrights, but the Trust is offering an increased monetary prize to the two honorees in order to acknowledge the difficulties faced by artists in the pandemic’s third year. Further, the eligibility criteria for the awards have been broadened to ensure that any artist whose career progressed during the pandemic can be recognized as an early-to-mid career artist. 

Suh expressed his gratitude in a statement, saying “it is completely surprising and deeply humbling to be listed among these previous award recipients. An award of this size provides essential, unprecedented support, and I hope to prove myself worthy of such an incredible honor.” Advisory committee member Hana S. Sharif went on to say that “this year’s awardees both epitomize the best of our art form through their evocative and transformative plays.”

Lloyd Suh’s play, The Far Country, is currently running at the Atlantic Theater Company. He is the playwright of The Chinese Lady, which was recently produced with Ma-Yi Theater Company at the Public Theater and was the most-produced play nationally in the 2021-2022 season of TCG member theatres. His play The Heart Sellers will premiere at Milwaukee Rep this spring. Other plays include: Bina's Six Apples, Charles Francis Chan Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Franklinland, Jesus in India, and many more.  His work has been produced at theaters across the country including Ensemble Studio Theatre, Magic Theatre, Denver Center, Artists Rep, Interact, Geva, Timeline, the Guthrie with Theater Mu, ArtsEmerson, Long Wharf Theatre and others, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and with PCPA at the Guerilla Theatre in Seoul, Korea. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the Horton Foote Prize, the Helen Merrill Award, and the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award. He served from 2005-10 as the Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and from 2011-20 as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark. He was elected in 2016 to the Dramatists Guild Council.