Arthur Miller, whose plays are currently having a New York renaissance, and Paula Vogel, whose How I Learned To Drive continues to be among the most popular and talked-about dramas of the season, will both be honored with the second annual 1998 Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts.
The Feb. 28 event, chaired by Jocelin & Stephen Hamblett and Gayle & Roger Mandle, along with Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Theatre, honors "outstanding artists for their artistic achievement while paying tribute to Senator Claiborne Pell for his exemplary support of the arts."
Miller will receive an award for Lifetime Achievement for such works as The Crucible, The Last Yankee and A View From The Bridge (now in revival at the Roundabout). Last year's winner was actor Jason Robards.
Vogel's prize is for "distinguished contributions to the arts by Rhode Island residents." Also receiving that award are photographer Salvatore Mancini and graphic designer Malcolm Grear. Vogel's other plays include The Baltimore Waltz and Desdemona.
Recently announced, Lloyd Richards will receive the "New England Pell Award," given for excellence, significantly advancing the art form, and bettering the New England community. Richards has directed several August Wilson plays on Broadway and is currently staging Christopher Columbus Off-Broadway. He's also in his 34th year as artistic director of the O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, CT. Senator Pell was the main sponsor of the 1965 landmark legislation establishing the National Endowment For The Arts and Humanities. He has also served a four year term on the board of Trinity Repertory Company. "Senator Pell's outstanding dedication to higher education and the arts is an inspiration to all his constituents," said Gregorian, President of Brown University, who called the event, "an annual opportunity to acknowledge artistic talent in our home state."
For tickets to the 1998 Pell Awards ($250-$500) at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, call (401) 521-1100. Currently finishing its run at Trinity Rep is Stephan Muller's staging of Peer Gynt, in an adaptation by David Henry Hwang (Jan. 30-March 1).
-- By David Lefkowitz