Lucas and Beglarian will be presented with their awards at an April 22 banquet at Michael's on East in Sarasota, FL. The awards recipients will be introduced by David Lang, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music, and Joe Melillo, executive producer of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Hermitage executive director Bruce Rodgers said in a statement, "We're delighted to have two of America's most outstanding artistic creators be the first recipients of the Greenfield Prize. The intent of the prize is to have a significant impact on the broad, as well as the artistic culture of our society. We couldn't be more pleased with our first selections and are certain these exciting artists will be able to create works that will do just that. Additionally, the prize helps us to bring artists of remarkable international stature to Sarasota and during their time here, they will share their creative talents with our local community. Everybody wins."
Established by Sarasota residents Bob and Louise Greenfield through the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation, the Greenfield Prize will enable the creation of a work of art each year at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. The Prize consists of "a $30,000 commission of an original work of art, a six-week residency at the Hermitage, and a partnership with a professional arts organization, which may present the premiere of that work."
A reading of Lucas' play is planned for 2010 by Asolo Repertory Theatre; Beglarian's musical composition will premiere in Sarasota in 2011 by the Sarasota Orchestra.
Rodgers added, "It is our hope to make the Greenfield Prize a mark of the highest creative achievement. By calling on some of the most respected names in each artistic discipline, we feel confident that we will be able to reach this ambitious goal." The drama selection committee included Michael Bigelow Dixon (chair), Oskar Eustis, James Houghton, Michael Donald Edwards, Joni Greenfield and Bruce E. Rodgers.
Craig Lucas' plays include Missing Persons, Blue Window, Reckless, God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy, Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forest. He also wrote the book for the award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza.
Tickets for the first annual Greenfield Banquet are $125 ($250 for patrons), and are available by calling the Hermitage Artist Retreat at (941) 475-2098.