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UI theater professor wins Tony Award for directing

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
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Daniel Sullivan
Photo by Bill Wiegand
  Best director   After three previous nominations, UI theater professor Daniel Sullivan has received a Tony Award for best director of a play for his work on David Auburn's "Proof."

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois theater professor Daniel Sullivan received the Tony Award for best director of a play for his work on David Auburn’s "Proof." The award was announced at ceremonies on June 3 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

The American Theater Wing's 55th annual Tony Awards also honored "Proof" as the best play and Mary-Louise Parker, its star, for the best performance by a leading actress in a play.

Sullivan, who holds a Swanlund Chair – the highest endowed title that can be awarded to a UI professor – has been nominated for three other Tonys for his theater direction: "The Heidi Chronicles" (1989), "Conversations with my Father" (1992) and "The Sisters Rosenzweig" (1993). In 1990, as artistic director of the Seattle Repertory Theater, Sullivan accepted the Regional Tony Award for Seattle Repertory Theater’s distinguished record of developing new plays.

Another UI theater professor, Robin McFarquhar, was fight choreographer for Dale Wasserman’s "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," which received the Tony Award for best play revival.

Champaign-Urbana audiences will be able to view Sullivan’s work July 17 when he directs a benefit performance of A.R. Gurney’s "Love Letters" for the theater department’s "SummerFest 2001" at the UI’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The production will feature Kathleen F. Conlin, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and Henson Keys, chair of the UI acting program. This summer, Sullivan will direct a play that was developed in a workshop at the UI last fall.
Charlayne Woodard’s "In Real Life" opens July 29 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, where Sullivan will collaborate with UI professors James Berton Harris (costumes) and Kathy Perkins (lighting).