COMMUNITY EVENTS

COMMUNITY MEETING

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Robert Wilson with Castillo managing director Diane Stiles

2004 Recipient - Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson is a dramatist, director, and designer who began his career as a painter. He has been a leading figure in postmodern theatre since the 1960s. He has created several controversial multimedia events, combining drama, dance, and gesture with contemporary instrumental music, opera, and art. Born in Waco, Texas, Wilson was educated at the University of Texas and Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, where he took an interest in architecture and design. Moving to New York in the mid-1960s, he found himself drawn to the work of pioneering choreographers such as George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham. By 1968 he had gathered a group of artists known as the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, and together they worked and performed in lower Manhattan. In 1969, two of Wilson's major productions appeared in New York City. In 1971, he first received international acclaim for Deafman Glance, a silent "opera" created in collaboration with Raymond Andrews, a talented deaf-mute boy whom Wilson had adopted. Wilson has gone on to create and design around the world, with such productions as The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, The CIVIL Wars, Hamletmachine, and the Wagner Ring Cycle. He has received many awards, including two Rockefeller and two Guggenheim fellowships, a Drama Desk Award for Direction, an Institute Honor from the American Institute of Architects, an American Theatre Wing Design Award for Noteworthy Unusual Effects, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 1996. In 1992 he founded the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Center as an international facility for new work in the arts, conceived to foster communication and innovation. It houses workshops, residencies, and educational programs.