NTC Person of the Year Honorees
Awarded annually to an individual who has made an outstanding and noteworthy contribution to the theatre.
2018 - Sarah Ruhl
Sarah Ruhl’s plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage; For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday; The Oldest Boy; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play); The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); Passion Play (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Orlando; Late: a cowboy song; Dear Elizabeth; Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award); Eurydice; and Stage Kiss.
She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country and have also been produced internationally, and translated into over twelve languages. Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has received the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright award, the Susan Smith Blackburn award, the Whiting award, the Lily Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur “genius” award. Her book of essays 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write was published by Faber and Faber and was a Times Notable Book of the Year. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Watch NTC's interview with Sarah Ruhl on YouTube here.
2017 - Molly Smith
Molly Smith has served as Artistic Director of Arena Stage since 1998 and has directed more than 30 plays. She most recently directed Our Town at Canada's Shaw Festival. Her directorial work has also been seen at The Old Globe, Asolo Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, Trinity Repertory, Toronto's Tarragon Theatre, Montreal's Centaur Theatre, and Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, which she founded and ran from 1979-1998. Molly has been a leader in new play development for over 30 years. She is a great believer in first, second and third productions of new work and has championed projects including How I Learned to Drive; Passion Play, a cycle; Next to Normal; and Dear Evan Hansen. She has worked alongside playwrights Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, Lawrence Wright, Karen Zacarías, John Murrell, Eric Coble, Charles Randolph-Wright and many others. She led the re-invention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning Arena Stage as a national center for American artists. During her time with the company, Arena Stage has workshopped more than 100 productions, produced 39 world premieres, staged numerous second and third productions and been an important part of nurturing nine projects that went on to have a life on Broadway. In 2014, Molly made her Broadway debut directing The Velocity of Autumn, following its critically acclaimed run at Arena Stage. She was awarded honorary doctorates from American University and Towson University.
Watch NTC's interview with Molly Smith on YouTube here.
2015 - P. Carl
Polly Carl is the Director of HowlRound and the Creative Director of ArtsEmerson at Emerson College. His work at Emerson is focused on promoting theatre practices around the core principle that theatre is for everyone. He divides his time between theory and practice—between collaborating on the challenges facing our field, and developing and presenting work for the stage. He spent two years as Director of Artistic Development at Steppenwolf Theatre and served eleven years at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, seven as Producing Artistic Director. He regularly dramaturgs, teaches, writes, consults, and mentors. His PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society is from the University of Minnesota.
Douglas Turner Ward
Roger L. Stevens
Hallie Flanagan Davis