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Once More For Steppenwolf and Tracy Letts

By Suzy Evans in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 10, 2009 9:45PM

Playwright Tracy Letts. (via
Steppenwolf and Tracy Letts received their millionth award together - not really but it feels that way - for Superior Donuts, which takes August: Osage County’s place on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in October. Superior Donuts won a citation, i.e. “runner up,” for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Award, administered by the American Theatre Critics Association. The award comes with $7,500, which isn’t a hefty sum considering Broadway tickets cost about half that. Lynn Nottage’s Ruined, which premiered at the Goodman last fall and won this year’s Pulitzer, was also named one of the 2008-2009 Best Plays by The Best Plays Theater Yearbook, an annual publication celebrating American theater.

We feel like a broken record, but is this award really merited? There are so many theaters and other playwrights in Chicago, but everyone kind of assumes Tracy Letts is our playwright god. Kind of how Tony Kushner is America’s playwright god. (Chicago jumped on the bandwagon with the Chicago Tribune Literary Price for lifetime achievement. The guy is only 53.) August: Osage County is a great play, but other playwrights and companies deserve a shot too. Let's hope Keith Huff's A Steady Rain, which premiered at Chicago Dramatists in 2007, makes the cut next year. (Plus we heard Superior Donuts wasn’t that great.)