The 2013 Honors Day convocation address will be delivered by Steven Dietz, one of America's most widely-produced and published contemporary playwrights. He is Fellow to the Theater for Youth Chair and Professor of Playwriting and Directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, and is a resident faculty member of the Michener Center for Writers.
Since 1983, Professor Dietz's thirty-plus plays have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway. International productions have been seen in England, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Austria, Russia, Italy, Slovenia, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Greece, Singapore, Thailand and South Africa. His work has been translated into ten languages.
Professor Dietz has received numerous honors and awards. He is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, for Fiction, a play produced Off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company, and Still Life with Iris. He is a two-time finalist for the Steinberg New Play Award, for Last of the Boys, a play produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and Becky's New Car. He received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet, the 2007 Edgar Award® for Drama for his widely-produced Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, and the Yomuiri Shimbun Award (the Japanese "Tony" award) for his adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence. His acclaimed conspiracy thriller, Yankee Tavern, was a National New Play Network (NNPN) featured play. Professor Dietz was the 2011-12 Ingram New Works Fellow with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, following in a long and distinguished line of previous recipients including David Auburn and John Patrick Shanley.
He has received new play commissions from theatre groups throughout the country, including the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, the ACT Theatre in Seattle, the Arizona Theatre Company in Tucson, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and the Denver Center Theatre Company.Other widely produced plays include Shooting Star, Inventing Van Gogh, God's Country, Private Eyes, The Nina Variations, Trust, Rocket Man, Halcyon Days, Ten November, Foolin' Around with Infinity and More Fun Than Bowling. Other award-winning stage adaptations include Force of Nature, adapted from Goethe, Over the Moon, adapted from P.G. Wodehouse, The Rememberer, adapted from Joyce Simmons Cheeka, Paragon Springs, adapted from Ibsen, Dracula adapted from Bram Stoker, Go, Dog. Go! adapted from P.D. Eastman in collaboration with Allison Gregory, and two adaptations of Dan Gutman’s baseball card adventures – Jackie and Me, and Honus and Me.
Professor Dietz’s recent work includes Rancho Mirage, which will premiere at four U.S. theaters next fall, as part of NNPN'S "rolling world premiere" program; and Mad Beat Hip & Gone, commissioned by UT's College of Fine Arts and currently running at ZACH's new Topfer Theatre, in Austin.
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