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."
While at the OSF, Rauch has maintained and developed relationships with playwrights such as Lisa Loomer, Robert Schenkkan, Octavio Solis, Bill Cain, Sarah Ruhl, Jeff Whitty, Culture Clash, and Julie Marie Myatt. In addition, in 2007 under Rauch's artistic leadership OSF launched American Revolutions: the U.S. History Cycle, an ambitious 10-year project to commission 37 plays about significant moments in American history.
Founded by playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee in 1961, the Margo Jones Award commemorates a pioneer of the American professional regional theatre movement. Margo Jones (1912-1955), who supported and nurtured new plays at the theatre she founded in Dallas in 1947. Previous recipients include Lucille Lortel, Joseph Papp, Zelda Fichandler, Lloyd Richards, Jane Alexander, Al Hirschfeld, Ellen Stewart, Jon Jory, Andre Bishop, Emilie Kilgore, and most recently in 2007-2008, David Emmes and Martin Benson.