Acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Artistic Director Michael Boyd will receive the Samuel H. Scripps Award at Theatre for a New Audience's Spring Gala Celebrating Shakespeare's 448th Birthday. The celebration, Monday, May 7, is at the Powerhouse at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street.
Theodore C. Rogers, Chairman of the Board of Theatre for a New Audience 1993-2012, will receive the Theatre's first Life in Art Award. In 2000, MR. Rogers, along with founding artistic director Jeffrey Horowitz, dared to dream of building Theatre for a New Audience's first home – a modern classical theatre – in the BAM Cultural District in downtown Brooklyn. It is in construction and will open in fall 2013. MR. Rogers, who recently stepped down as Chairman, will remain on the Theatre's Board and continue as Chair of its Capital Campaign. Henry Christensen III is the new Chairman.
Mr. Boyd, who will be in New York to receive the Scripps, said, "As a great admirer of New York's classical theatre scene, and of Theatre for a New Audience's work in particular, I feel greatly honoured to be given the Samuel H. Scripps Award alongside the great writers, teachers and theatre-makers who have received it in the past."
Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham, who starred in Theatre for a New Audience's production of The Merchant of Venice directed by Darko Tresnjak – a production acclaimed in New York, on national tour and invited by Mr. Boyd to be part of the RSC's 2007 Complete Works Festival at Stratford-upon-Avon – is Master of Ceremonies.
The Samuel H. Scripps Award will be co-presented to Mr. Boyd by Alistair Macaulay (chief dance critic of The New York Times since 2007 and chief theatre critic of London's The Financial Times from 1994 to 2007), and James Shapiro (Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University).
The Life in Art Award will be co-presented by Tony Award-winning theatre and Academy Award-nominated film director Julie Taymor, along with playwright, director, and Olivier- and Tony-award winning actor Mark Rylance and his wife, film and Broadway composer Claire van Kampen. Mr. Rylance was the first artistic director of London's Shakespeare's Globe and Ms. van Kampen was the founding music director/composer in residence there. Mr. Rylance and Ms. Taymor are Theatre for a New Audience Board Members.
Established in 2005, the Samuel H. Scripps Award recognizes "Extraordinary Commitment to Promoting the Power of Language in Classic and Contemporary Theatre." The award is a sculpture of Shakespeare by world-renowned artist and graphic designer Milton Glaser. Prior recipients include Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal, Mark Rylance, Cicely Berry, C.B.E., Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, RoBert Woodruff and Robert Neff Williams.
Jeffrey Horowitz, Founder and Artistic Director of Theatre for a New Audience, explained, "Samuel H. Scripps, a member of our Board, enabled this Theatre to bring Shakespeare to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. We're honored to present this award to Michael Boyd, one of the finest artistic directors I've ever known."