Playwrights usually draw attention by breaking social taboos or making splashy stylistic exercises. In her productions this year, playwright JEAN STERRETT took risks, but her plays also affirmed the nuts-and-bolts values of rich settings and complex characters. Sterrett received the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award this year for Fix Me So I Can Stand, a knotty, insightful death-row drama set in South Georgia in the 1970s. Essential Theatres world-premiere production in the summer included a superb performance by Spencer Stephens. In Fix Me So I Can Stand as well as Sterretts World War I drama The Summerhouse in April set in her native Australia and staged at Theatre Decatur Sterrett showed such a vivid sense of place that Atlantas larger playhouses should give her work a look.