Critics fete Taylor play

'Oo-bla-dee' wins top award, 'Compleat,' 'Syncopation' also get nods

Regina Taylor’s “Oo-bla-dee” has won the American Theater Critics/Steinberg New Play award, which comes with a check for $15,000. Honor was announced Saturday in a ceremony at the Actors Theater of Louisville’s 24th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Taylor’s play, which focuses on black female musicians during WWII, preemed at Chicago’s Goodman Theater last year. Two other plays received citations and $5,000 awards from the org: Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Compleat Female Stage Beauty,” about a male actor who played female roles, which was produced at Pittsburgh’s City Theater, and Allan Knee’s contemporary romance “Syncopation,” co-produced by the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Conn., and the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J.

Winners were selected by a committee of nine critics from works recommended by ATCA members. Plays must have preemed outside Gotham during 1999. Previous honorees include August Wilson’s “Fences,” “The Piano Lesson” and “Two Trains Running” as well as Lanford Wilson’s “Book of Days.” Awards are supported by an annual grant from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

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