Nate Eppler has won The American Theatre Critics Association’s (ATCA) 2017 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. The award was presented at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville on April 8.
Eppler’s work The Ice Treatment premiered in July of 2016 and was presented by Actors Bridge Ensemble in partnership with Nashville Repertory Theatre.
Eppler serves as playwright-in-residence for the Nashville Repertory Theatre and is the director of its Ingram New Works Project, which is designed to cultivate the development of new plays for the stage.
In The Ice Treatment, Eppler takes an iconic pop culture moment and transforms it into an interrogation of the “American dream.” Panelists on the American Theatre Critics Association’s New Play Committee, which selects the Osborn winner, called it “compelling…with (a) fast moving story and well-constructed dialogue” and “a darkly funny take on celebrity.”
ATCA’s Osborn Award is designed to recognize the work of an author who has not yet achieved national stature. The award was established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. It carries with it a $1,000 prize, funded by the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association.
Founded in 1974, ATCA works to raise critical standards and public awareness of critics’ functions and responsibilities and is the only national association of professional theater critics. Its network of several hundred members work for newspapers, magazines, websites and radio and television stations across the United States. ATCA is also a national section of the International Association of Theatre Critics, a UNESCO-affiliated organization that sponsors seminars and congresses worldwide.
In addition to the Osborn Award, ATCA also selects recipients for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Award for best new play outside of New York and the Francesca Primus Prize, funded by the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, which honors outstanding contributions to the American theater by female writers and artists who have not yet achieved national prominence.
The membership also makes a recommendation for the Regional Theater Tony Award presented by the American Theatre Wing/Broadway League and votes on annual inductions into the Theater Hall of Fame.