On the Stage, Behind the Scenes and In the Audience
Hewes Design Awards - 2003
An American playwright and avant-garde theater pioneer; he is the founder of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater. As of January 12th, 2006, Richard Foreman has written, directed and designed 57 of his own plays both in New York City and abroad. Five of his plays have received Obie Awards for Best Play of the Year- and he has received five other Obies for directing and for “sustained achievement”. He has received the annual Literature Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a “Lifetime Achievement in the Theater” award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN American Center Master American Dramatist Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2004 was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. His archives and work materials have recently been acquired by the Bobst Library at New York University (NYU). His work has been primarily done at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York, though he has gained acclaim as director for such productions as Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera at Lincoln Center and the premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus at the Public Theater. In 2004, Foreman established the Bridge Project with Sophie Haviland to promote international art exchange between countries around the world through workshops, symposiums, theater productions, visual art, performance and multimedia events. Starting with Zomboid (2006) Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric productions have incorporated the projection of video footage generated through Bridge workshops as a kind of “film-score” that the live performance is conducted in a relation to. Foreman’s plays have been co-produced by The New York Shakespeare Festival, La Mama Theatre, The Wooster Group, the Festival d’Autumn in Paris and the Vienna Festival. He has collaborated (as librettist and stage director) with composer Stanley Silverman on 8 music theater pieces produced by The Music Theater Group and The New York City Opera. He wrote and directed the feature film, Strong Medicine. He has also directed and designed many classical productions with major theaters around the world including, The Threepenny Opera, The Golem and plays by Václav Havel, Botho Strauss, and Suzan-Lori Parks for The New York Shakespeare Festival, Die Fledermaus at the Paris Opera, Don Giovanni at the Opera de Lille, Philip Glass’s Fall of the House of Usher at the American Repertory Theater and The Maggio Musicale in Florence, Woyzeck at Hartford Stage Company, Molière’s Don Juan at the Guthrie Theater and The New York Shakespeare Festival, Kathy Acker’s Birth of the Poet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the RO theater in Rotterdam, Gertrude Stein’s Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights at the Autumn Festivals in Berlin and Paris. Seven collections of his plays have already been published, and books studying his work have been published in New York, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.