Richard Foreman (SHS 1955)

Playwright and Avant-Garde Theater Pioneer

Two years after Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible” appeared on Broadway, it was directed and produced by Richard Foreman at Scarsdale High School.  That play was one of many that Foreman mounted during his high school years.  After Scarsdale, Foreman attended Brown University and in 1962, received a Masters in Fine Arts in Playwriting from Yale.

After graduation from Yale, Foreman began a career that went well beyond playwriting. It was marked by success in writing and directing a feature film, “Strong Medicine,” directing operas, including “Die Fledermaus” at the Paris Opera and serving as a librettist. Much of this work was launched at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater founded by Foreman in 1968. He saw the goal of his artistic work there as a “Disorientation Massage.”

By the spring of 2006, Foreman had directed and designed fifty- seven of his own plays.These efforts were not unrewarded. Five of his plays have received an OBIE as the best play of the year. Foreman, himself, was honored with a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and in 2004 he was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France.