The annual luncheon salutes an artist who has made an "outstanding artistic contribution to the American theatre." As the recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award, Foote is the first artist to be honored posthumously by New Dramatists.
The starry guest list for the event, which begins at 11:15 AM, includes Foote's daughter, Tony nominee Hallie Foote, as well as Edward Albee, Alec Baldwin, Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, Jim Dale, Jeff Daniels, Tovah Feldshuh, Arthur French, John Glover, Phyllis Newman Green, Zach Grenier, Haydn Gwynne, Celeste Holm, Marin Ireland, Bill Irwin, Susan Kellerman, Angela Lansbury, Romulus Linney, Constantine Maroulis, John McMartin, Debra Monk, Karen Olivo, Estelle Parsons, Faith Prince, Joyce Randolph, Lee Roy Reams, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Marian Seldes, Christopher Sieber, Mary Alice Smith and J. Robert Spencer.
New Dramatists artistic director Todd London said in a previous statement, "In the fall, Mr. Foote accepted our invitation to be this year's honoree. Though we had not announced Mr. Foote as our honoree by the time of his passing, our board felt strongly about moving forward with the tribute. We are thrilled that members of Foote's family as well as members of his extended theatre family will be on hand to celebrate the life and career of this extraordinary American artist."
Past honorees include Edward Albee, Harvey Fierstein, Chita Rivera, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Jerry Herman, Terrence McNally, Barbara Cook, John Kander & Fred Ebb, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe and Gwen Verdon.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Foote died in Hartford, CT, on March 4 while putting the finishing touches on his ambitious Texas-set work, The Orphans' Home Cycle. The nine-play cycle will premiere at Hartford Stage later this summer prior to arriving Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre Company, Oct. 29, 2009-April 11, 2010. A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Young Man from Atlanta, Foote's plays also include Dividing the Estate (2009 Tony nomination for Best Play), The Carpetbagger's Children, The Trip to Bountiful, The Traveling Lady, The Chase, The Last of the Thorntons and Talking Pictures, among others. He is an Academy Award winner for the screenplays "Tender Mercies" and "To Kill a Mockingbird."
For further information, visit NewDramatists.