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professor first staged Pulitizer Prize-winning play for second year
in a row
Mitchell, Arts Editor
(217) 333-5491 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. For the second year in a
row, the Pulitzer Prize for drama has been awarded to a new American
play first staged by University of Illinois theater professor Daniel
The prize for drama went to David Auburns "Proof," which
Sullivan directed at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York City in
May 2000. Sullivans production then moved to the Walter Kerr Theater
on Broadway, where it remains in production. The play deals with the
world of higher mathematics and the sometimes fragile humanity of the
mathematicians who create its most esoteric proofs.
The 85th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music
were awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board and announced
April 16 by Columbia University President George Rupp.
In 2000, Sullivan directed the premiere of Donald Marguliess "Dinner
With Friends," which won that years Pulitzer for drama. It
was produced at the Variety Arts Theater in Manhattan, and also is still
running. For his work on that production, Sullivan received the Julia
Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing from the New York Drama League
and was named Outstanding Director of a Play by the Outer Drama Critics
Award Committee. Other recent New York productions directed by Sullivan
include "Ten Unknowns" and "Spinning Into Butter"
at Lincoln Center.
"Professor Sullivan enjoys a national reputation for working with
dramatists on developing new plays," said Robert Graves, acting
head of the UIs theater department. "He is both a nurturer
and a mentor to some of the best young playwrights in the country."
From 1981 to 1997, Sullivan served as artistic director of the Seattle
Repertory Theater, where he developed and directed new works by such
major writers as Arthur Miller, Jon Robin Baitz, Herb Gardner, A.R.
Gurney and Wendy Wasserstein, in addition to many young playwrights.
Due to these efforts, Seattle Rep received the Regional Theater Tony
Award in 1990.
In 1998, Sullivan was named Swanlund Professor of Theater at the UI,
where he teaches classes in acting, directing and playwriting. Last
fall, he brought
actress-playwright Charlayne Woodward to campus, where she and Sullivan
worked with students on writing their own plays.
"Dan is a great teacher as well as an outstanding director,"
Graves said. "He listens to the students and has an uncanny ability
to bring out the best in them."
This summer, Sullivan will direct a July 17 performance of Gurneys
"Love Letters" for the theater departments "SummerFest
2001" at the UIs Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
The performance will benefit the internship program affiliated with
the summer festival.