INDEPENDENCE, KAN.: The William Inge Center for the Arts has announced that playwright Octavio Solis will be the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award. According to the organization, the prize is going to Solis in recognition of the writer, director, and performer’s “outstanding contributions to the national theatre landscape.” Solis will receive the award here next year at the 38th annual William Inge Theater Festival, the official theatre festival of Kansas, at Independence Community College. The festival will take place May 22-25, 2019.
“We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate Octavio Solis, one of our nation’s vital voices,” Hannah Joyce-Hoven, producing director of the Inge Center, said in a statement. “His work is deep and soulful, and he is generous, curious, and kind. I look forward to welcoming him to Kansas, where I believe audiences will see themselves honored and reflected in his stories.”
Solis’s playwriting credits include Alicia’s Miracle, Se Llama Cristina, John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, Ghosts of the River, Quixote, Lydia, June in a Box, Lethe, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The Seven Visions of Encarnación, Bethlehem, Dreamlandia, El Otro, Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, Santos & Santos, and La Posada Mágica. In addition, Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow with the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., and for the Disney Pixar film Coco he served as a cultural consultant and voiced the role of the Arrivals Agent.
Past theatre scribes to receive the honor include Christopher Durang, David Henry Hwang, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Tina Howe, Stephen Sondheim, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, and August Wilson. The William Inge Theater Festival, named for the Pulitzer-winning playwright, was founded in 1981 at Independence Community College. The Inge Center for the Arts is also home to the William Inge Collection, which contains some 400 pieces of correspondence, original artwork, and many original manuscripts, as well as Inge’s personal book and record collections.