EUGENE O’NEILL THEATER CENTER RECEIVES
NATIONAL MEDAL OF ARTS
President Obama presents the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center with the nation's highest honor for achievement in the arts at a special White House ceremony
We are pleased and proud to share that the White House has just announced the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center will receive the 2015 National Medal of Arts! Our Executive Director Preston Whiteway will join our Board Chairman Tom Viertel and Founders George and Betsy White to accept the award from President Obama on Thursday, September 22 in a special White House ceremony. The event will be live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Rarely has an American theater and educational institution received such an honor on a national platform. We share this with YOU. You're a vital part of our family - the community that makes us who were are, and our work possible.
Please join us in celebrating the O’Neill’s contributions to the theater world and the thousands of
new works and new artists we have supported.
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The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The National Medal of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who "...are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States." Past recipients include Sally Field, Ann Hamilton, Stephen King, George Shirley, the University Musical Society, Tobias Wolff, John Baldessari, Ping Chong, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as well as O’Neill alumni Lloyd Richards, Edward Albee, Robert Redford, Harold Prince, Tommy Tune, and Meryl Streep.
Colloquially called the “Launchpad of the American Theater,” the O’Neill discovers and develops new work and new artists for the American theater. Major works—including Avenue Q, In The Heights, House of Blue Leaves, Fences,Nine, The Piano Lesson, Violet, The Nether, [title of show], and Uncommon Women and Others—were first developed at the O’Neill before finding success on Broadway, film, and around the world. The O’Neill launched the careers of August Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Wendy Wasserstein, John Patrick Shanley, Michael Douglas,Meryl Streep, John Krasinski, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Dratch, Elizabeth Olsen, and thousands more.