Richard Foreman - Performance Interventions Series

Date:21 May 2006
Time:12.30 pm - 2.30


SUNDAY, 21ST MAY, 12.30 - 2.30 PM

Free for LICA Staff, £2 for students, £4 for others


Richard Foreman is coming to the Nuffield Theatre for a talk on his artistic ideas and craft. He will be interviewed by Ola Johansson, Theatre Studies, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts. This is a unique opportunity to see, listen and talk with one of the leading avant-garde performance artist in postmodern times. Clips of some his most important works from 1976-2005 in his New York based Ontological-Hysteric Theatre will be shown and discussed during the talk. There will also be a generous Q&A session with the audience.


Born June 10 1937, N.Y.C.

Founder Director, Ontological-Hysteric Theater. (1968-current)

Brown University BA, (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) l959, Yale Drama School, MFA (Playwriting) l962. Honorary Doctorate Brown University 1993.

Richard Foreman has written, directed and designed over fifty of his own plays both in New York City and abroad. Five of his plays have received "OBIE" awards as best play of the year—and he has received five other "OBIE'S" for directing and for 'sustained achievement'. He has received the annual Literature award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a "Lifetime Achievement in the Theater" award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN Club Master American Dramatist Award, a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and in 2004 was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. His archives and work materials have recently been acquired by the Bobst Library at NYU.

Foreman is the founder and artistic director of the non-profit Ontological-Hysteric Theater (1968-present). Since the early seventies his work and company have been funded by the NEA, NYSCA, as well as many other foundations and private individuals. In the early 1980s a branch of the theater was established in Paris and funded by the French government. The theater is currently located in the historic St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery in New York City's East Village neighborhood, and serves as a home to Foreman's annual productions as well as to other local and international artists.

Foreman's plays have been co-produced by such organizations as The New York Shakespeare Festival, La Mama, The Wooster Group and the Festival d'Autumn in Paris and the Vienna Festival. He has collaborated (as librettist and stage director) with composer Stanley Silverman on 8 music theater pieces produced by The Music Theater Group & The New York City Opera. He wrote and directed the feature film, Strong Medicine. He has also directed and designed many classical productions with major theaters around the world including, Three Penny Opera, The Golem and plays by Havel, Botho Strauss, and Susan Laurie Parks for The New York Shakespeare Festival, Die Fledermaus at the Paris opera, Don Giovanni at the Opera de Lille, Philip Glass's Fall of the House of Usher at the American Repertory Theater and The Maggio Musicale in Florence, Woyzeck at Hartford Stage Company, Don Juan at the Gutherie Theater and The New York Shakespeare Festival, Kathy Acker's Birth of the Poet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the RO theater in Rotterdam, Gertrude Stein's Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights at the Autumn Festivals in Berlin and Paris.

Seven collections of his plays have already been published, and books studying his work have been published in New York, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.


2004 Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France

2001 PEN/Laura Pels Master American Playwright Award

1995-2000 MacArthur Fellowship

1996 Edwin Booth Award for Theatrical Achievement

1992 & 1995 NEA Playwriting Fellowship

1992 American Accademy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature

1990 NEA Distinguished Artist Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in Theater

1990 Ford Foundation play development grant for "Eddie Goes to Poetry City"

1974 Rockerfeller Foundation Playwrights Grant

1972 Guggenheim for Playwriting

9 Village Voice "OBIEs", (including 3 for Best play, and one for Lifetime Achievement)


Further Information

Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK