New Dramatists, the United States's oldest non-profit workshop dedicated to the development of new playwrights, has announced that its 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to August Wilson at the 54th annual ceremony to be held in the Broadway Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis on Tuesday, May 13.
Whoopi Goldberg, currently starring on Broadway in a revival of the Wilson play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, will present the award to the author, while Charles S. Dutton (the show's original star, now repeating his role) and Brian Stokes Mitchell (who starred in the Broadway production of Wilson's King Hedley II) will offer tributes.
Wilson, an alumnus of New Dramatists, is also the author of Jitney (Olivier Award), Fences (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson (Pulitzer Prize), Two Trains Running, and Seven Guitars, a series of plays that explores the African-American experience throughout the various decades of the 20th century. He has received seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for his work, as well as Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships, the Whiting Writers' Award, the National Humanities Medal, and a number of honorary degrees.
The Marriott Marquis is located at 1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets. The May 13 event, a benefit for New Dramatists, will begin with a champagne reception at 11:15am and will end by 2:30pm. Tickets are $200, a portion of which is tax deductible; they may be purchased by phoning 212-757-6960. For additional information, visit the website www.newdramatists.org/.