David Lindsay-Abaire and Annie Baker Are First Recipients of Inaugural Horton Foote Writer's Retreat
By Michael Gioia
Tony Award-nominated playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Good People), recipient of the 2012 Horton Foote Prize, was selected as the inaugural writer-in-residence in February 2013 for the first Horton Foote Writer's Retreat, a program that gives writers the opportunity to reside and write undisturbed in Horton Foote's preserved Wharton, TX, home.
Formed in 2012 by Tony Award-nominated actress Hallie Foote and her siblings, Daisy Foote, Walter Foote and Horton Foote, Jr., the Horton Foote Legacy Project is a new not-for-profit endeavor whose mission is to "support emerging and established American playwrights and to preserve and advance the legacy of Horton Foote and his body of work." In an effort to achieve this mission, the organization is launching its inaugural Horton Foote Writer's Retreat.
The next recipient of the retreat is playwright Annie Baker (The Flick), who also received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Playwriting. Baker's residency will take place this May.
Each playwright will receive a four-week private residency in Foote's preserved Texas home, where they will have the opportunity to write and reflect at the same desk Foote used to write his award-winning plays and films prior to his death in 2009. The Project's aim is to provide six four-week residencies annually to established and emerging playwrights.
"We are very proud to open our father's childhood home to a new generation of gifted playwrights, commencing with David and Annie," said Hallie Foote, president of the Horton Foote Legacy Project, in a statement. "Wharton, TX, and its strong sense of place and community were crucial to my father's body of work and we hope that these month-long residencies will inspire the participating playwrights to continue creating important works for the American stage. It was a dream of my father's to support writers in this fashion and we’re very glad to offer them this unique opportunity."
"I'm so grateful to the Foote family, and everyone involved with the Horton Foote Legacy Project, for this great gift of time, space and support to write without distraction," added Lindsay-Abaire. "And to do it in the very house, in fact in the very room, where Horton wrote so many of his plays, is a privilege beyond words."
Recipients of the residency are chosen by the Board of the Horton Foote Legacy Project, which includes Hallie Foote, Daisy Foote, Walter Foote, Horton Foote, Jr., director Michael Wilson, Charles Davis, Larry Wadler, Joe Schwarz, Vanessa K. Harper, Scott McLucas, Sarah Steinberg, Craig Slaight, Marion Castleberry and Gerald Wood.
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