As a writer, Lapine has written books for Sunday in the Park with George, Into The Woods, Falsettos, Passion and more. As a director, he has directed Sunday in the Park with George, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Passion, Into the Woods, The Diary of Anne Frank and more.
He is the recipient of three Tony Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, a Peabody and an OBIE.
In a statement SDCF board president Susan Schulman said, "There is a great energy gathering around honoring James Lapine with the Mr. Abbott Award and that is a testament to who he is both as an artist and as a human being. James continues to influence a vast cross-section of artists, whether he has worked with them directly or simply been, through his profound body of work, a model for theatre making."