Department of Theatre and Dance Distinguished Professor of Playwriting Steven Dietz received the Creative Research Award last week at the Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards, an annual event honoring the scholarship of faculty members.
A Pulitzer-nominated playwright and two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Dietz is one of the most widely produced and published contemporary playwrights. Since 1981, he's directed more than 40 regional productions, including many world premieres of new American plays.
"The award is an acknowledgement of the extraordinary professional accomplishments of Steven Dietz," said Brant Pope, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. "Our students, faculty and audience at The University of Texas at Austin are the great beneficiaries of the amazing talents of this playwright, director and teacher."
"Steven Dietz has tremendous scope as a playwright, achieving the same humane economy of language and action whether writing serious drama, children's theater, historical adaptations, comedy, or criticism of contemporary theater and theater education," added College of Fine Arts Dean Douglas Dempster. "He is one of the leading playwrights of our day and exactly what we strive for in a first-class research university that values the arts."
The Creative Research Award caps off a banner year for Dietz. He is the third recipient of the nationally-coveted Ingram New Works Fellowship from the Tennessee Repertory Theatre and recently premiered a new play in Minneapolis, A Year Without Summer, commissioned by the famed Tyrone Guthrie Theater.
Dietz's latest play, 360 (round dance), a modern adaption of Arthur Schnitzler's play, Reigen, premieres at the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre at The University of Texas at Austin on Nov. 11.