David Hammond, director, playwright and theatre company professor in the department of dramatic art, will receive the PlayMaker Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 18th annual PlayMakers Ball on Oct. 29.
David Hammond has been with PlayMakers for 21 seasons, 14 of them as artistic director. He began training for the theatre as a child, at the Jules Faber Studio and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, appearing on stage and in live television. He attended Harvard and graduated magna cum laude with a concentration in Elizabethan literature.
After graduate study at the Carnegie Mellon University Drama School, Hammond became the youngest faculty member at John Houseman Juilliard Drama Division and assisted Houseman in the administration of The Acting Company, the professional touring company composed of program graduates.
He next spent seven years with San Francisco Theatre, directing 31 productions, progressing from associate to resident stage director and becoming assistant director of the Company Advanced Training Program. He then became a resident director and faculty member at the Yale Repertory Theatre and School of Drama prior to joining PlayMakers as artistic director.
He has directed productions for New York Roundabout Theatre, the San Francisco Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Opera Company of North Carolina, the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, the Sherwood Shakespeare Festival and the Valley Shakespeare Festival. He has also directed for the Teatro Alianza, the Institution Teatral El Galpon, and the Grupo de Empresas de Apoya a las Artes in Montevideo, Uruguay, and has been a frequent cultural representative for Arts America and the United States Information Service.
A specialist in Shakespeare texts, Hammond has coached productions or conducted workshops for the American Conservatory Theatre, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the American Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center Theatre Company, the Atlantic Theatre Company and the Graduate Acting Program of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
A professor in the department of dramatic art, he will spend part of his spring 2006 sabbatical teaching Shakespeare at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.
The recipient of two Los Angeles Drama-Logue Awards and the Florencio Award of the Association of Uruguayan Theatre Critics, Hammond was a 2005 Triangle Theatre Person of the Year. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors of Musical Artists, The Dramatists Guild, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the National Theatre Conference and serves on the Advisory Panel of the American National Theatre.
His favorites among the productions he has directed for PlayMakers include "Much Ado About Nothing", the complete "Mourning Becomes Electra", "The Visit", "Arcadia", "A Little Night Music", "The Laramie Project", "A Prayer for Owen Meany", "Luminosity", and his own adaptation of "The Nutcracker", which continues to be performed at theatres throughout the United States and Canada.
The 2005 PlayMakers Ball theme is "Jewel in the Crown.