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Seret Scott Wins Gordon Davidson Award

The award given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation will be presented in a virtual ceremony this fall.

NEW YORK CITY: The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) has named director, playwright, and actor Seret Scott the 3rd annual Gordon Davidson Award recipient. Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien will present the award to Scott in a virtual ceremony this fall.

Seret Scott. (Photo by Mara Lavitt)

“From my earliest memories in booster seats at school plays, I was always awed by the performers, lights, music, costume—the whole of it,” said Scott in a statement. “I knew then that theatre would be my life path. Receiving the Gordon Davidson Award honors that youthful decision and acknowledges that every bump along the way was creatively necessary to my artistry. I look forward to continuing the creative process through a myriad of dramatic forms. Theatre and humanity demand much of artists now.”

The award is named in memory of the founding artistic director of Los Angeles’s Center Theatre Group, who died in 2016. Previous winners of the award are Oskar Eustis, who one the inaugural award in 2018, and Lisa Peterson. The award recognizes a director or choreographer for lifetime achievement and distinguished service in the national not-for-profit theatre. This year’s selection committee was chaired by SDCF trustee and artistic director emeritus of Pasadena Playhouse Sheldon Epps.

“I could not be more thrilled that the selection committee has chosen my dear friend and colleague Seret as the designee for this prestigious award this year,” said Epps in a statement. “She has been a trailblazing artist for many years who has delivered dazzling productions, and also had a positive influence on the individual theatres where she has worked and on the field as a whole. She is passionate about our art form, about building communities, and about using the theatre as a way to ignite social and political action. Given that, she is an ideal honoree, as those goals are so much in alignment with the philosophies of the man for whom the award is named. We are all honored by having the opportunity to celebrate and honor Seret in this way.”

Added O’Brien in a statement: “Before there was a movement of almost any kind, Seret Scott was her own movement. Brilliant, compassionate, involved, and on the cutting edge.”

Rounding out the selection committee was Neel Keller, Tom Moore, Laura Penn, Lisa Peterson, Warner Shook, and Chay Yew.

Seret Scott has directed more than 100 professional theatre productions since the late 1980s. Her résumé spans the entire American regional theatre, including a dozen productions at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre as an associate artist. Her Off-Broadway directing credits include work at New Victory Theatre, Second Stage, Pan Asian Rep, and Playwrights Horizons. Regionally, Scott has directed with more than 25 companies including Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre, Court Theatre, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Alliance Theatre, among many others. Scott has participated in playwriting and directing workshops with Sundance Labs, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, New Harmony, Pacific Playwright’s Conference, and New York Stage and Film. She received a playwriting/directing residency at the National Theatre Institute; a playwright’s residency at McCarter Theatre Center; and a director’s residency at Sundance Labs in Arles, France. Scott made her Broadway acting debut in 1974 in My Sister, My Sister, for which she received a Drama Desk Award. Scott received her Bachelor’s degree from the New School. She is a former member of the Puffin Foundation Artistic Advisory Board and is currently on the executive board for the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

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