A.C.T. staged Guare's Rich and Famous during the 2008-2009 season, and Chapman composed music for Blood Knot at A.C.T. last season. On May 11 both artists will be presented with honorary master of fine arts degrees during the graduation ceremony for A.C.T.'s MFA program. "Both John Guare and Tracy Chapman are artistic eminences that have been able to harness and protect their original voices while making lasting marks on their fields," said Melissa Smith, A.C.T. conservatory director, in a statement. "Guare is one of the great American playwrights, and what makes him truly special to our school is his appreciation for the craft and contribution of the actor in creating a play. Chapman is an incredible musician and storyteller, who showed that it is possible to cross genres with her stunning score for last season's production of Blood Knot – something that we encourage our students to aspire to. They are both exemplary artists and true inspirations to our graduating class, and we are thrilled to honor them with degrees this year."
Guare earned a Tony Award for his book to the rock musical Two Gentleman of Verona. He has received Tony nominations for his plays Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, Six Degrees of Separation (Pulitzer Finalist), House of Blue Leaves and the book to the musical Sweet Smell of Success. He earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for "Atlantic City."
Chapman's albums include "Tracy Chapman," "Crossroads," "Matters of the Heart," "New Beginning," "Telling Stories," "Let It Rain" and "Where You Live."