Acclaimed author and MacDowell board chairman Michael Chabon ("The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay"), along with Tony and Academy Award winner Nichols, who directed the film of Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, will speak at the ceremony honoring Albee's artistic achievements.
The MacDowell Medal is presented to an artist "who has made an outstanding contribution to his/her field." Albee is the third playwright to receive the honor following Our Town author Thornton Wilder and The Little Foxes playwright Lillian Hellman.
The Medal Day ceremony, beginning at 12:15 PM, is open to the public. In addition to Nichols' presentation of the honor to Albee, the public is invited to tours the MacDowell facilities, enjoy a picnic lunch and take in a performance by young artists.
The MacDowell Colony nurtures work from artists and individuals working in all disciplines, including painting, architecture, music, literature, dance, film and more. Among the artists who have developed their work there are Leonard Bernstein, Thornton Wilder, Aaron Copland, Milton Avery, James Baldwin, Spalding Gray, Alice Walker, Alice Sebold, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, Suzan-Lori Parks and Meredith Monk.
The Colony is currently developing work by Tony and Obie Award-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel), who is working on a commission for Lincoln Center Theater; as well as performance artist John Kelly, who is re-conceiving his work Find My Way Home for performances at New York Live Arts this October. Recent MacDowell alums include David Adjmi and Young Jean Lee, whose works will make New York premieres during the 2011-12 season. Albee's plays include his Tony Award-winning dramas Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? He received Tony nominations for The Ballad of the Sad Café, Tiny Alice, A Delicate Balance, Seascape, and was awarded a Tony for Lifetime Achievement in 2005. His plays A Delicate Balance, Three Tall Women and Seascape were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize. His works also include Zoo Story, Homelife, The Lady from Dubuque, Marriage Play, The Play About the Baby and Occupant. His most recent play, Me, Myself & I, was seen Off-Broadway last fall. A Broadway revival of Virginia Woolf?, based on the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company production, is planned for fall 2012.
Albee has also been honored with the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.