Steven Sater is an American poet and playwright.
Born in Evansville, Indiana, Sater attended Washington University where he jumped from his balcony during a building fire and damaged his spine, as well as several other limbs. The months spent recovering from his injuries and burns inspired Sater to seriously pursue the arts, and he went on to study English literature at Princeton University.
After completing his graduate program, Sater took a position with a New York literary agent, but continued to write plays on the side. It was during this time that he joined Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist organization. His membership has proved important to his life beyond spirituality, as it brought Sater together with both his future wife, and his future creative partner, Duncan Sheik.
Sater approached Sheik to collaborate on his play Umbrage, for which Sheik provided music to Sater's lyrics. To produce Sheik's third studio album Phantom Moon, Sater and Sheik traded lyrics and songs in progress, cooperatively producing the album. They returned to stage to produce Nero (Another Golden Rome) at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, California.
The pair continued their stage work with Spring Awakening, a musical interpretation of German playwright Frank Wedekind's play of the same name, followed by a musical production of The Nightingale, commissioned by Martin McCallum of Cameron Mackintosh. In 2007, Sater won two Tony awards for his work on Spring Awakening. He won the Tony for his Best Book; and he won the Tony for Best Musical Score (Lyrics) together with Sheik (Music) for Spring Awakening.