Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES--On Sept. 19, The New York Innovative Theatre Awards will honor 1955-58 Eastern New Mexico University drama major Robert Patrick O'Connor (who writes under the name Robert Patrick) with the 2011 Artistic Achievement Award, "recognizing an individual who has made a significant artistic contribution to the worldwide Off-Off-Broadway theatre community."
Patrick, born on Sept. 27, 1937, in Kilgore, Texas, lives in Los Angeles and will not be able to attend, so actress Shirley Knight, who won her Tony in Patrick's play "Kennedy's Children," will accept the award. Patrick has sent a DVD acceptance speech which will be played after Ms. Knight accepts the award.
At ENMU, Patrick, who graduated from Roswell High School, played James, the brother of Christ, in "Family Portrait," Mister Lundy in "Brigadoon" and choreographed and performed musical numbers in the 1955 and 1956 "Swanee" revues.
He says, "I learned to have confidence in myself in theater under ENMU instructors R. Lyle Hagan and David Scott, as well as from upperclassman Donovan Marley, who later went on to produce plays by me at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts and at the Denver Center Theatre Company."
Since 1964, Patrick has had thousands of productions of dozens of plays on six continents from "The Haunted Host" at the first Off-Off Broadway theatre, the Caffe Cino, to "Kennedy's Children" on the West End, Broadway, on CBS Cable, and worldwide in many languages.
Tony winner Harvey Fierstein has starred in three productions of "The Haunted Host," and the play has been performed from Toronto to Sydney. In 1969, Patrick's play "Camera Obscura" was included in the anthology show, "Collision Course," along with plays by Lanford Wilson, Sam Shepard and Israel Horowitz. Samuel French, the play publishers, referred to Patrick in 1972 as "New York's most-produced playwright."
In 1976 he wrote "My Cup Ranneth Over" for Marlo Thomas and Lily Tomlin.
He traveled for 10 years to over 1,000 high schools and high school festivals on behalf of The International Thespians Society.
He is the only artist to be honored on three separate occasions with "Coffeehouse Chronicles" in his honor at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, the oldest surviving Off-Off Broadway theatre. He has published plays, poems, and columns in hundreds of publications, a novel, "Temple Slave," an autobiography, "Film Moi or Narcissus in the Dark," and a DVD about the Caffe Cino.
He lives in retirement in Los Angeles where he maintains a website about the Caffe Cino and pre-1970 Off-Off Broadway theatre. Some of Patrick's previous awards are:
• Show Business Magazine Best Play Award, 1969
• Glasgow Citizens Theatre Best World Playwriting Award, 1973
• The International Thespian Society Founders Award for Services to Theatre and to Youth, 1980
• Blue is for Boys Weekends in the Borough of Manhattan, 1983 and 1986
• Robert Chesley Foundation Award For Lifetime Achievement In Playwriting, 1996
• West Hollywood Advisory Board's Rainbow Key Award for having been instrumental in the creation of the off-off Broadway movement, 2008.
Previous New York Innovative Theatre Artistic Achievement Award Recipients include: Pulitzer Prize winner Lanford Wilson, "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" director Tom O'Horgan, underground theatre pioneer Doric Wilson, Living Theatre founder Judith Malina, international puppeteer Basil Twist,and influential underground playwright Maria Irene Fornes.
Patrick can be reached at email@example.com.