SDCF names Seret Scott the 2020 Gordon Davidson Award recipient
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:17 pm EDT 07/27/20




(New York, July 27, 2020) Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the not-for-profit foundation of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), has named Seret Scott the 3rd annual Gordon Davidson Award recipient. Named in memory of the founding artistic director of Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum and leader in regional theatre, the Gordon Davidson Award recognizes a director or choreographer for lifetime achievement and distinguished service in the national not-for-profit theatre. The award will be presented to Scott by Jack O'Brien at a virtual ceremony in fall 2020.

Said Scott of this distinction, "From my earliest memories in booster seats at school plays, I was always awed by the performers, lights, music, costumes; the whole of it. 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 selection committee met in May and was chaired by SDCF Trustee and Artistic Director Emeritus of Pasadena Playhouse Sheldon Epps, who was delighted to share this news: "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. 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."

Jack O'Brien will present the Gordon Davidson Award to Scott in a virtual ceremony this fall. Said O'Brien: "Before there was a movement of almost any kind, Seret Scott was her own movement. Brilliant, compassionate, involved, and on the cutting edge."

Oskar Eustis received the inaugural Gordon Davidson Award in 2018; Lisa Peterson received the second award in 2019.

Epps was joined on the selection committee by Neel Keller, Associate Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles; Tom Moore, who was mentored by Davidson and directed shows at the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatre; Laura Penn, Executive Director of SDC; Lisa Peterson, Resident Director at the Mark Taper Forum from 1995 to 2005, and who received the Gordon Davidson Award in 2019; Warner Shook, who directed Davidson's final Taper production; and Chay Yew, Founding Director of the Asian Theatre Workshop at the Taper under Davidson.


Seret Scott has directed more than 100 professional theater productions since the late 1980s. Her resume spans the entire American regional theatre, including a dozen productions alone at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre as an Associate Artist. Her off-Broadway directing credits include 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 in Chicago, Yale Rep, Westport Country Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, South Coast Rep, L.A. Theatre Works, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Two River Theatre, George Street Playhouse, The National Black Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Indiana Rep, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Studio Theatre, Atlas Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Crossroads Theatre, PlayMakers Rep, Alliance Theatre, and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, among many others. University directing credits include NYU-Tisch, Juilliard, Fordham, The Acting Company, and University of Maryland.

Scott has been invited to read from her journals, Artist Housing and Owl Attacks, at almost two dozen universities and forums. The narratives chronicle the creative and personal 35-year (and counting) journey of a Black Woman theater director and actress. 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 playwrighting/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. She is a former Director-in-Residence with New Dramatists and a PEW/TCG Artist Residency grantee with Long Wharf Theatre. Scott assistant directed Washington, DC's Constitution Hall celebration honoring the installation of the MLK Statue on the National Mall.

Scott's play, Second Line, recalling her experiences in the Free Southern Theater/Civil Rights Movement, 1969, was produced by Passage Theatre in New Jersey and Atlas Theatre in Washington, DC. She is the creator of INSIGHT/SECOND SIGHT, a project that introduces diverse communities to the narratives, back-stories, and life-changing moments of individuals whose lives have been widely acclaimed or perhaps, quietly extraordinary. She's currently working on the libretto of her light opera, Quarte Face.

As an actress, Scott's performances include dozens of Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional theater credits. She made her Broadway debut in 1974 with My Sister, My Sister, for which she received a Drama Desk Award; she was also part of the original Broadway cast of For Colored Girls. Film credits include Kathleen Collin's classic film, Losing Ground.

Scott received her Bachelor's degree from The New School. She's a former member of the Puffin Foundation Artistic Advisory Board and is currently on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Gordon Davidson (1933-2016) was the founding artistic director of Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum, which he led from 1967 to 2005, as well as artistic director of the Ahmanson Theatre from 1989 to 2005. Under his leadership, numerous works were developed or made their premieres in Los Angeles, including Zoot Suit, Angels in America, The Shadow Box, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Jelly's Last Jam, and Children of a Lesser God. The Taper received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1977; Davidson received the Tony as Best Director of a Play for Children of a Lesser God in 1980; he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2000. He began his career as a stage manager and briefly served as managing director for the Theatre Group at UCLA.

Founded in 1965, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) exists to foster, promote, and develop the craft and creativity of stage directors and choreographers. SDCF's goals are to provide opportunities to practice the crafts of directing and choreography, to gather and disseminate craft and career information, to promote the profession to emerging talent, to provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge among directors and choreographers, to increase the awareness of the value of directors' and choreographers' work, and to convene around issues affecting theatre artists.

SDCF is committed to fostering an environment that is inclusive and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression in its programs or activities. www.sdcfoundation.org.

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) is the theatrical union that unites, empowers, and protects professional stage directors and choreographers throughout the United States. Its mission is to foster a national community of professional stage directors and choreographers by protecting the rights, health, and livelihoods of all of its Members; facilitating the exchange of ideas, information, and opportunities, while educating the current and future generations about the role of directors and choreographers; and providing effective administrative, negotiating, and contractual support. 2019 marked the Union's 60th Anniversary. sdcweb.org

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