2007 Honorary Award Recipient Profiles
The recipients of this year's Honorary Awards are all incredibly deserving and inspiring. And so we wanted to take some time to let you know a little bit about them.
Doric Wilson - 2007 Recipient of the Artistic Achievement Award
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Doric Wilson was born on February 24, 1939 in Los Angeles (CA) where his family was temporarily located. Wilson was raised on his grandfather's ranch at Plymouth on the Columbia River of Washington State. He wrote his first play for his English Lit class at Kennewick High School, but was accused of plagiarism when his teacher Miss Shrives informed him that no student of hers would ever be able to write a play. Wilson moved to NYC in 1959 where he became one of the first resident playwrights at NYC's legendary Caffe Cino, his comedy And He Made A Her, opening there in 1961. The success of his four Cino Plays helped, in the words of playwright Robert Patrick, "establish the Cino as a venue for new plays, and materially contributed to the then-emerging concept of Off-Off- Broadway." His Now She Dances!, a fantasia on the trial of Oscar Wilde, was the first Off-Off-Broadway play to deal positively with gay people (1961). Under the mentorship of producer Richard Barr he became a pioneer of the alternative theatre movement, dedicating his career to writing, directing, producing and/or designing hundreds productions. He was one of the first playwrights invited to join the Barr/Wilder/Albee Playwright's Unit and later became a founding member of Circle Repertory Theater. A veteran of the anti-war and civil rights demonstrations of the early 1960s-mid 1970s Doric Wilson was a participant in all three nights of the Stonewall Riots (1969) and became active in the early days of the New York Gay Liberation movement as a member of GAA (Gay Activist Alliance). In 1974, Doric Wilson (with Billy Blackwell, Peter del Valle and John McSpadden) formed TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), the first professional theatre company to deal openly and honestly with the gay experience. In June, 2001, Wilson, and directors Mark Finley and Barry Childs resurrected the company as TOSOS II (www.tosos2.org). The return of TOSOS has been met with critical acclaim and awards and has achieved a well-earned reputation for the talent and professionalism of its company. The original TOSOS and the production of Doric Wilson’s play The West Street Gang are featured in "Perform," the new permanent exhibit on theatre at The Museum of New York City.
A playwright, director, producer, critic and gay political activist, Doric Wilson is a true pioneer and visionary.
The Alliance of Resident Theatres (A.R.T./NY) - 2007 Recipient of the Stewardship Award
Founded in 1972 by 49 Off-Off-Broadway companies to serve and promote the vital not-for-profit theatre community in New York City. It has upheld its founding mission by identifying and responding to the immediate and long-term issues affecting this industry; such as its current involvement in the Coalition for Code Reform which seeks revision to the Showcase code (www.nyc99.org).
Celebrating their 35th Anniversary, A.R.T./New York is the leadership organization for New York City’s not-for-profit theatre community. They have 384 member organizations in all five boroughs with budgets ranging from $40 million to under $40,000. Their mission is to give companies access to the training and resources they need to achieve their artistic goals. To that end, they provide more than 200 technical assistance workshops, roundtables and individual consultations each year. They have four regrant programs, which award $350,000 annually and two loans programs: The Bridge Fund, which makes cash flow loans, and The Chapin Fund, which provides real estate loans; each has loaned more than $3 million. They also have two shared office and rehearsal space projects South Oxford Space in Brooklyn and Spaces at 520 in Manhattan provide permanent offices to 45 companies and rehearsal and meeting space to approximately 200 additional theatres and community groups.
Executive Director Virginia P. Louloudes said, “On behalf of A.R.T./New York’s Chairman Peter Cross; our President Robert LuPone, and the entire staff, board and our 380+ member theatres, I want to thank the New York Innovative Theatre Awards Committee for honoring us with The Stewardship Award. To receive this acknowledgement during our 35th Anniversary season, from this inspiring community that we serve, fills me with tremendous pride.”
It is our privilege and honor to recognize A.R.T./NY for their years of leadership and service to our community.
Rising Phoenix Repertory Theatre - 2007 Recipient of the Caffe Cino Fellowship Award
Rising Phoenix Repertory (RPR) was founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Daniel Talbott. The phoenix takes the energy of the old, combines it with the new, and soars into the future. By learning from the traditions of the past and the teachings of the present, Rising Phoenix Rep strives to rediscover the craft of a raw and vital living theatre. They are a company in development, which started by producing an ongoing reading series of new plays. Since then they have added workshops and festivals, layering in more work as they move towards the goal of producing a full season.
Festivals include Summer Lovin’, seven new short plays by members of the MCC Playwrights’ Coalition; Detour Days, a week of works-in-progress; The Brooklyn Plays, nine short plays on the theme of one borough; and ClipLight, eight days of workshops, panel discussions, readings and classes. Recent productions include What Happened When at HERE Arts Center, Fall Forward in the Sitelines festival produced by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Telling Trilogy (including The Ride, 2006 IT Awards Nominee – Outstanding Original Short Script), Rules of the Universe (2007 IT Awards Nominee – Outstanding Original Short Script, Director, Actor in a Leading Role, and Production of a Play), and Three Sisters at the Seventh Street Small Stage at Jimmy’s No. 43, Gift, produced as part of the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival, The Chinese Art of Placement, associate produced with 78th Street Theatre Lab, Ponies, produced as part of the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival, and So Close, produced with Blind Camel Productions at Walkerspace in 2004. Rising Phoenix Rep serves as a home base for a company of theatre professionals that encourages an open exchange of work and ideas within the greater theatre community.
"Indie theater can often be about pushing the envelope, experimentation, and bringing the audience to someplace they’ve likely never been before. This is all certainly true of the three shows that are part of this week’s roundup: Rising Phoenix Rep’s The Reaching, Working Man’s Clothes Productions’ Penetrator, and Clubbed Thumb’s Greedy." - Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com