2016-17 Recipient

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Michael WellerMichael Weller '65 studied music composition at Brandeis University, then worked as a jazz pianist before taking his graduate degree in theater at the University of Manchester, England. Weller won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Playwright for his first play, Moonchildren, in 1972. His screenplays include Hair and Ragtime and a teleplay of his play Spoils of War. He co-founded (with Angelina Fiordelissi and Suzanne Brinkley) and supervised the Mentor Project of the Cherry Lane Theatre for its first ten years. Weller's work has received an Academy Award nomination, an NAACP Outstanding Contribution Award, Critics Outer Circle Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant and a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, and has been honored by The Broken Watch Theatre Company, which gave their playhouse his name. He is president of the Writers Guild Initiative, and a lifetime council member of the Dramatists Guild of America, as well as a member of the Writers Guild of America, East, Inc. and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Weller is on the faculty of the School of Drama of the New School in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn.