This year, there are two Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees: Athol Fugard and Philip J. Smith.
His first large scale success was with his play Blood Knot in which he also acted, playing the white brother to African actor Zakes Mokae as the black brother. Not only did it stir up controversy in the segregated country, but it went on to become an international hit. It opened off-Broadway in 1964. His other plays include MASTER Harold...and the Boys and Sizwe Banzai is Dead, both of which played on Broadway. Other important works include: My Children! My Africa! and The Road to Mecca.
He currently resides in California, where he teaches playwriting, acting and directing at UCSD (San Diego). With a career that spans nearly 60 years, 30 + plays, novels, films made of his works, it is easy to see why he would be given such an honor. But to have done most of it under the duress of a government looking to make an example of him and others like him, and to have survived and been a voice of the sweeping changes in his native land, THAT is the achievement.
Regional Theatre Tony: Lookingglass Theatre Company
Their other primary goal is to reach the diverse population of the greater Chicago area through outreach and education. As a result, they are everywhere and a recognizable force in all of Chicagoland's great neighborhoods. They seek to reach as diverse a population as possible with their equally diverse ensemble. That ensemble is trained in a variety of techniques that encompass acting, movement, dance, music and even circus act performance. Just like Alice in Through the Lookingglass, after which they are named, they continue to discover a bright, fanciful, sky's-the-limit world.
Tomorrow: Eve Ensler, the Handspring Puppet Company and more.
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