Influential Philly Theatre Educator Dugald MacArthur Will Get Special Barrymore Award

News   Influential Philly Theatre Educator Dugald MacArthur Will Get Special Barrymore Award
The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia announced that artist and educator Dugald MacArthur will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Annual Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre on Oct. 5.

The 7 PM ceremony that celebrates professional theatre in the Philadelphia area will be at the Walnut Street Theatre.

John P. Connolly, executive director of Actors' Equity Association, and a former student of Dugald's in Temple University's graduate program, will present the award, which is given "in recognition of an individual with a distinguished career in Philadelphia theatre as an artist or patron who has devoted his or her time, talent and energy to making a significant impact on the artistic landscape of the city and region."

Connolly said in a statement, "Dugald is a unique and extraordinary man of the theatre. The profound impact he made on my generation of actors — the founding crews of Manning Street Actors' Theater, Theater of the Living Arts, Freedom Theater and the Philadelphia Theatre Company, among others — planted the seed of bold artistry and startling innovation that is the exciting hallmark of Philadelphia's theatrical renaissance today."

MacArthur arrived in Philadelphia in 1973 from CalArts to head Temple University's Graduate Theatre Department, building a program that continues to enjoy a national reputation. Twice nominated for a Barrymore Award, he has directed at Philadelphia Theatre Company, The People's Light & Theatre Company, Lantern Theater Company, Act II Playhouse, The Venture Theatre, Villanova Shakespeare Festival and Temple University. He was an early board member of The Wilma Theater and served an essential role in helping to establish Lantern Theater Company, as both a board member and resident artist for the young company.

Over the past 30 years, MacArthur has taught and mentored many of Philadelphia's finest theatre artists, including Nick Embree, Tony Lawton, Dan Olmstead, Janet Embree, Bradley Thoennes, Frank X, Robert Christophe, Ashley Izard, Christy Parker, Maria Moeller, Jane Moore, Joe Canuso, Amy Gorbey, Mary Beth Scallen, Bill Zielinski, Madi Distefano, Michael Brophy, Kathryn Nocero and Charles McMahon. Actors of national reputation that he has trained include Bill Irwin, Tom Sizemore, Dan Strickler and Gerry Bamman. At the time of his departure from Temple, his former students were working all over the world in theatre, film, and television. Nine of his students are, or were, artistic directors of resident professional theatre companies.

Currently, MacArthur regularly lectures on theatre at several major universities including UPenn, Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, and Princeton. He has served as program evaluator for the League of Resident Theaters, The National Endowment for the Arts and the League of Professional Training Programs. Nationally he has directed at American Repertory Theatre, the Tyrone Guthrie, American Conservatory of Theatre in San Francisco, Dallas Theater Company, StageWest, The Kennedy Center, and Dartmouth Equity Repertory.

Charles McMahon, artistic director of Lantern Theater Company, stated, "Dugald has made theatre in Philadelphia his life's work. He has always born himself with exemplary modesty and decency; expressed himself with intelligence, wit, and originality; and shown unfeigned affection and commitment to those coming into his influence. He is without doubt one of the most universally beloved people in this profession."

Tickets for the Barrymore Award Ceremony and more information are available online at or by calling (215) 413-7150.

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