Obie Award-winning playwright Craig Lucas ("Prelude to a Kiss," "Light in the Piazza") and internationally acclaimed composer EveBeglarian are the inaugural recipients of the Hermitage Artist Retreat's Greenfield Prize announced Hermitage Executive Director Bruce Rodgers. Lucas and Beglarian will accept their prizes in Sarasota at the Greenfield Prize banquet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 at Michael's on East.
Introducing them will be composer David lang, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music,and Joe Melillo, executive producer of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and chair of the Hermitage's national selection committee.
"We're delighted to have two of America's most outstanding artisticcreators be the first recipients of the Greenfield Prize," Bruce Rodgers explained. "The intent of the prize is to have a significant impact on the broad, as well as theartistic culture of our society. We couldn't be more pleased with our firstselections and are certain these exciting artists will be able to create works thatwill do just that. Additionally, the prize helps us to bring artists of remarkable international stature to Sarasota and during their time here, they will share theircreative talents with our local community. Everybody wins."
The Greenfield Prize has been established by longtime Sarasota residents Bob and Louise Greenfield through the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation. The prize will be the means by which a groundbreaking, enduringwork of art will be created each year at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. The Prizeconsists of a $30,000 commission of an original work of art, a six-week residency at the Hermitage, and a partnership with a professional arts organization, whichmay present the premiere of that work. A reading of Lucas' play is planned to beperformed in 2010 by the Asolo Repertory Theatre and Beglarian's musicalcomposition will be premiered in Sarasota in 2011 by the Sarasota Orchestra.A distinguished five-person panel consisting of some of the most highly respected theatre and music authorities in America selected each GreenfieldPrize recipient.
Three voting members on each committee were joined by Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards in drama and Sarasota Orchestra Artistic Director Leif Bjaland in music. Joni Greenfield represented theGreenfield Foundation on both committees. Hermitage Executive Director Bruce Rodgers facilitated." It is our hope to make the Greenfield Prize a mark of the highest creativeachievement," said Rodgers. "By calling on some of the most respected names ineach artistic discipline, we feel confident that we will be able to reach this ambitious goal."The banquet will also feature a performance of David lang's work by Chroma Quartet featuring members of the Sarasota Orchestra.
Tickets for the first annuAl Greenfield Banquet are $125 ($250 for patrons), and are available bycalling the Hermitage Artist Retreat at (941) 475-2098.
The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artistretreat located on Manasota Key. It brings mid-career painters, sculptors, writers,playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world forextended stays on its 8.5 acre campus. Each artist is asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay. So far, Hermitage artists have touched over 6,000 Sarasota County children and adults with their unique andinspiring programs.
For more information about the Hermitage, call Bruce Rodgers, Executive Director at (941) 475-2098.About the Greenfield Foundation: The Greenfield Foundation is based in Sarasota, Florida, but funds charitable initiatives across the country.
Its president and most of its trustees are members of the family of Louise and BobGreenfield of Sarasota, Florida. Its net income, which exceeds $500,000 a year,is devoted to improving quality of life through contributions to not-for-profit institutions in the arts, education, health care and other services. The foundation originates and participates in innovative projects, which have a ripple effectbeyond the immediate impact of the expenditures.
For more information, contact Debra Jacobs at 941-957-0442 or write Greenfield Foundation, 1800 2nd StreetSarasota, Florida, 34236.
Craig Lucas' plays include Missing Persons, Blue Window,Reckless, God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy, PRAYER FOR MY Enemy and The Singing Forest. He wrote the book for The Light In The Piazza, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel; the musical play Three Postcards, music andlyrics by Craig Carnelia; the libretto for the opera Orpheus in Love, music by Gerald Busby; and he has recently completed the libretto for Two Boys, an operawith composer Nico Muhly, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera andscheduled to premiere there in a co-production with the English NationalOpera. His new English adaptations include Brecht's Galileo, Chekhov's ThreeSisters and Uncle Vanya, and Strindberg's Miss Julie. His screenplays include Longtime Companion (Sundance Audience Award), The Secret Lives ofDentists (New York Film Critics Best Screenplay), Prelude to a Kiss,Reckless and The Dying Gaul, which he also directed. Last year Lucas directedthe film Birds of America (starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Ben Foster, LaurenGraham, Hilary Swank and Matthew Perry). Onstage he directed Harry Kondoleon's plays Saved or Destroyed at Rattlestick (Obie Award for BestDirector) and Play Yourself as well as his own play This Thing of Darkness (co-authored with David Schulner) at the Atlantic. He has worked with directors Bartlett Sher, Norman René, Mark Wing-Davey, Daniel Sullivan, Joe Mantello,Michael Mayer, Lisa Peterson and Anders Cato. His work has been seen on and off Broadway, and at such institutional theaters as Actor's Theatre of Louisville,Berkeley Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Circle Rep, Ensemble StudioTheater, Goodman, Hartford Stage, Intiman, Lincoln Center, Long Wharf,Manhattan Theater Club, New York Shakespeare Festival, New York TheaterWorkshop, Playwrights Horizons, Portland Stage, Rattlestick, Roundabout,Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, Trinity Rep & the Vineyard, and it is widely produced internationally. Twice nominated for a Tony (Prelude to aKiss and The Light in the Piazza), three times for the Drama Desk (Prelude,Missing Persons and Reckless), he has won the L.A. Drama Critics Award (BlueWindow), the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Award for Best American Play (The Singing Forest), the Hull-Warriner Award (The Light in the Piazza), theLAMBDA Literary Award (for his anthology What I Meant Was), the Flora Roberts Award, the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Artsand Letters, the Laura Pels/PEN Mid-Career Achievement Award and the JoanCullman Award; he has twice won the Obie Award for Best Play (Prelude and Small Tragedy). He graduated from Boston University where hestudied with poets Anne Sexton and George Starbuck. Lucas serves as Associate Artistic Director at the Intiman Theater in Seattle, and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild, SSDCand PEN America. He lives in upstate New York.