Awardee: Sean Graney

Performing Arts, 2016

Sean Graney is a Chicago-based theater artist who concentrates on adapting and directing classic plays to create relevant theatrical pieces for contemporary society. In November 2014, after a three-year hiatus, he returned to his post as Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, the Chicago theater company he founded in 1997. Last year he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where he completed All Our Tragic, his 12-hour adaptation which combines all 32 surviving Greek Tragedies. All Our Tragic was presented by The Hypocrites and performed for sold-out audiences during the summer of 2014, and remounted in the summer of 2015. More recently, he adapted and directed HMS Pinafore to accompany his version of The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance, thus completing his Gilbert & Sullivan Trilogy.

Project: The Aristophanesathon

The Aristophanesathon is a six-hour conjoined adaptation featuring the eleven existing plays of Aristophanes. The project will build off Sean Graney's artistic successes with All Our Tragic, a twelve-hour adaptation of the thirty-two extant tragedies, and Sophocles: These Seven Sicknesses, the surviving canon of Sophocles plays. The plot follows a character named Aristophanes, as a girl of eleven, to just before her death at fifty-five. A cast of six actors will play thirty characters. There will be three strongly-connected acts, each functioning like a Shakespearean comedy. Each act will have a main character with many subplots, resolving by the end, or resulting in many deaths. The Aristophanesathon can be performed in any setting, even non-theaters, either fully-designed, or very rough (as long as the audience can drink during the performance).