Haute 100 LA Update: Meryl Streep to Receive Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Award

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Meryl Streep will receive the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 14th Annual Monte Cristo Award.

The Oscar winning actress will be honored for her plethora of achievements and contributions to the American theater.

Her longtime friend and fellow Yale classmate Joe Grifasi will present Streep with her award at a gala dinner in New York City on April 21.   

Upon hearing of the award, the 64-year-old said in a statement: “The O’Neill is a place unlike any other. I’m honored to receive this award from an organization so vital to the discovery and support of new artists and work for the American theater, including my friend and Yale classmate, Wendy Wasserstein.”

Of her time at the O’Neill, she recalled: “That summer we were all engaged with full hearted passion in sometimes the silliest of exercises, and all in service of finding that wiggly, elusive creature:  a new play.  The process was so condensed that I learned a sort of invaluable swiftness of decision making, out of necessity. The “choices” could not be labored over, and that, for certain types of thinking actors, is a gift of exigency.  You had to, like your fifth grade teacher said, in multiple choice questions, just go with your first instinct, don’t worry it to death. That’s what actors did at the O’Neill, and with full blown commitment.  Like jumping off the platform onto the swinging trapeze…don’t hesitate. It’s a good lesson. One I’ve carried with me my whole life.

The Monte Cristo Award is presented to a prominent theater artist each year. Past recipients of the Award include Christopher Plummer, Michael Douglas, James Earl Jones, Harold Prince, Kevin Spacey, Neil Simon, Jason Robards, Jr., Edward Albee, August Wilson, Zoe Caldwell, Brian Dennehy, Karl Malden and Arthur & Barbara Gelb.

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