Rajiv Joseph, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Indian American playwright, has been named a winner of the 6th Annual Steinberg Playwright Award, an annual theater honor organized by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
He shares the honor with playwright Annie Baker and will accept a cash prize of $50,000.
Joseph was awarded for his latest work, “The Lake Effect,” which had its world premiere at Chicago’s Silk Road Rising in April. “The Lake Effect” is about two estranged Indian American siblings (played by Adam Poss and Minita Gandhi) who are forced to reunite when their father passes away and his newly revealed secrets change their perception of a man they thought they knew. “The Lake Effect” is also nominated for The Chicago-based 2012-13 Jeff Equity Awards, it was announced Oct. 3.
Previously, Joseph held the world premiere of the suspenseful drama “The North Pool” in 2011 in Palo Alto, Calif. His other works include “Huck and Holden,” “Animals Out of Paper” and “Gruesome Playground Injuries.” India-West has reported previously that Joseph’s first screenplay, a football-themed film titled “Draft Day,” had been selected for Hollywood’s prestigious “Blacklist” in December 2012.
Joseph, born in Cleveland, Ohio, is the son of a French-German mother and Indian father who credits his three years spent with the Peace Corps in Senegal for having a profound effect on him and preparing him for a writing career. He earned a B.A. in creative writing from the Oxford, Ohio campus of Miami University and a master’s degree in writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Joseph is best known for his incendiary drama “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010. “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” was first presented at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles before opening on Broadway with Robin Williams in 2011.
The play will open Oct. 5 at the San Francisco Playhouse and will run through Nov. 14, directed by Bill English.