Renowned playwright, screenwriter and movie director John Patrick Shanley, winner of the artistic "trifecta" of a Pulitzer Prize, an Oscar and a Tony Award will add the Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award to his list of honors at the Irish American Writers & Artists annual celebration this fall. Shanley will receive his Tiffany award on Monday, October 21, 2013 during a festive evening in the Manhattan Club in the Times Square district, just a few blocks north of where O’Neill was born on October 16, 1888.
The Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2009 to honor the accomplishments of a writer, actor, musician or other artist whose body of work best exemplifies the level of integrity established by O’Neill.
Few contemporary artists fit the criteria for the award as well as Shanley. He has written over 20 plays including Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and Savage in Limbo. For his play, Doubt, he received both a Tony and the Pulitzer Prize. As a screenwriter he received an Academy Award for best original screenplay for Moonstruck. The film version of Doubt, in which he directed Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.
"This distinction comes at a time when I have noticed several Irish demons running amuck on my keyboard," Shanley said, upon being notified that he will receive the award. "I quite recently wrote a recollection about my family in Ireland entitled 'Darkness of an Irish Morning'. It was published in the editorial section of The New York Times. In addition, my new play, Outside Mullingar is set in County Westmeath, and will be presented by Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway this winter. It will star an Irishman named Brian F. O'Byrne, who you may recall from his turn as Father Flynn in my play Doubt. I have always admired Eugene O'Neill, even while praying I would not wake up one day and be him."
T.J. English, President of the Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc, said, "Writer and director John Patrick Shanley is the consummate contemporary artist; he gives us characters that are indelible and stories that illuminate and enrich the human experience. He's been honored with almost every prestigious award that exists for an artist today, and rightfully so – in the theater and in the movie business, few can claim to have attained his level of accomplishment or, in the tradition of the great Eugene O’Neill, maintained such a high standard of quality and integrity."
The previous Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy; veteran actor and noted O'Neill interpreter Brian Dennehy; co-founders of New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre, Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly, and legendary folk singer and activist Judy Collins.
The Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award Celebration has a convivial, casual cocktail party atmosphere, with much conversation and mingling with guests both famous and infamous, an extensive array of appetizers and desserts, and an open bar. The evening at the Manhattan Club above Rosie O'Grady's (800 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019) begins at 6 pm and continues until 10 pm.
For more information on the IAW&A and to purchase tickets for the Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Award Celebration, go to www.i-am-wa.org.