August 21, 2003

Avant-Garde Theater Pioneer Richard Foreman To Give Free Public Lecture At SMU's Meadows School, Sept. 4

DALLAS (SMU) - Internationally renowned avant-garde director, playwright and theater pioneer Richard Foreman will be giving a free public lecture on "The Avant-Garde Today" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4 in the O'Donnell Lecture Recital Hall, Room 2130 in the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the campus of Southern Methodist University. While the
event is free, the public is asked to reserve tickets by calling 214-768-2787.

Foreman, whose many awards include nine Obies, a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation and a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts, is the artistic director of the renowned Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York, which he founded in 1968. With the mission of offering profound, literary, visually artistic and surprising theatrical experiences, it has become one of the nation's foremost avant-garde theaters, enjoying virtually sold-out runs each season, and it continues to be highly influential among new generations of audiences and artists. Foreman himself has been dubbed "a titan of the avant-garde" by The New York Times, which called him "probably the most disciplined, polished and consistent theatrical auteur practicing in New York today."

Foreman is the author of more than 40 plays, including "Maria Del Bosco," "Pearls for Pigs" and "My Head Was a Sledgehammer," and he has served as director and set designer for most of them. His work has been produced in New York at not only the Ontological-Hysteric Theater but at such venues as the Joseph Papp Public Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as at other theaters across the United States and in Europe. In addition, over the past 30 years he has directed and designed major productions of operas, classical plays and contemporary plays by other authors at prominent theaters around the world, including The American Repertory Theater, the Guthrie Theater, The New York City Opera, The Houston Opera, The Paris Opera and many others.

"Richard Foreman is one of the most influential artists working in the theater today," said Greg Leaming, head of directing at the Meadows School of the Arts. "Having him here in Dallas is an invaluable opportunity for our students as well as all Dallas theater-goers."

The public lecture is part of a four-day workshop Foreman is holding from Sept. 4-7 at the Meadows School for art and theatre students. His visit is cosponsored by the Divisions of Art and Theatre at the Meadows School and by the theatre department at the University of Texas at Dallas.