'Time,' 'Equivocation' among contenders

A pair of shows currently on the boards in productions from Manhattan Theater Club — Donald Margulies’ “Time Stands Still” and Bill Cain’s “Equivocation” — and two plays by Michele Lowe are among the finalists for the 2010 Steinberg/American Theater Critics Assn. New Play Award.

Laurel, carrying a cash prize of $25,000, honors an outstanding script that had its professional preem during the prior calendar year.

Lowe (“The Smell of the Kill”), the first writer to be nommed for two plays in one year (much less to be selected as a double finalist), received nods for “Inana,” about an Iraqi museum curator, and “Victoria Musica,” following an arts critic on the trail of possible music-world hoax.

Also in the mix are Karen Zacharias’ time-hopping “Legacy of Light” and Jason Wells’ dark tale “Perfect Mendacity.”

“Time Stands Still” earned notable critical support in its current, strong-selling Rialto staging, while Gotham reviews for Cain’s Shakespeare what-if “Equivocation” were more mixed.

ATCA New Play Award will be given out March 27 as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theater of Louisville. Winner will be announced along with two citations, which come with $7,500 each.

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