The award annually honors "that citizen-of-the-theatre who has demonstrated a significant impact, understanding and affirmation of the craft of playwriting, with a lifetime commitment to the encouragement of the living theatre everywhere." The award commemorates Jones, a pioneer of the American professional regional theatre movement. Established in 1961 by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, the award is administered by the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University.
The medal will be presented to Eustis on March 30 in a ceremony at The Library at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St, New York, NY, 10003. A reception begins at 5 p.m., with the award ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m.
Eustis has served as artistic director of The Public Theater since 2005. He has produced two Tony Award-winning best musicals (Fun Home and Hamilton), and back-to-back winners of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Hamilton and Sweat.
At The Public, Eustis directed the New York premieres of Rinne Groff’s Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise; Larry Wright’s The Human Scale; and most recently Julius Caesar and Public Works’ Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park. He has founded numerous ground-breaking programs at The Public, from Public Works and Public Forum to the Emerging Writers Group and the Mobile Unit. Eustis is currently a professor of dramatic writing and arts and public policy at New York University, and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training. Eustis delivered a well-received TED Talk on “Why Theater is Essential to Democracy” in Vancouver, Canada in 2018.
Eustis came to The Public from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, where he was artistic director. He also served as associate artistic director at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum, and in multiple positions at the the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco.
At Trinity Rep, Eustis directed the world premiere of 2018 Margo Jones award recipient Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home and Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul. Both shows were recipients of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production.
About the Margo Jones Award
The Margo Jones Medal commemorates one of the pioneers of the American professional regional theatre movement. Jones (1912-1955) supported and nurtured new plays at the theatre she founded in Dallas in 1947, including Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke and Lawrence and Lee’s Inherit the Wind. The pattern she created for developing new plays is now a standard method for producing new plays in the living American theatre.
Members of the Medal Committee are Deborah Robison for the family of Jerome Lawrence; Lucy Lee, and Jonathan Barlow Lee for the family of Robert E. Lee; and Nena Couch, Beth Kattelman, and Mary Tarantino for the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at the Ohio State University.
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