Richard Foreman has written, directed and designed over fifty of his own plays both in New York City and abroad. Five of his plays have received "OBIE" awards as best play of the year—and he has received five other "OBIE'S" for directing and for 'sustained achievement'. He has received the annual Literature award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a "Lifetime Achievement in the Theater" award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN Club Master American Dramatist Award, a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and in 2004 was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. His archives and work materials have recently been acquired by the Bobst Library at NYU.
Foreman is the founder and artistic director of the non-profit Ontological-Hysteric Theater (1968-present). Since the early seventies his work and company have been funded by the NEA, NYSCA, as well as many other foundations and private individuals. In the early 1980s a branch of the theater was established in Paris and funded by the French government. The theater is currently located in the historic St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery in New York City's East Village neighborhood, and serves as a home to Foreman's annual productions as well as to other local and international artists.
Foreman's plays have been co-produced by such organizations as The New York Shakespeare Festival, La Mama, The Wooster Group and the Festival d'Autumn in Paris and the Vienna Festival. He has collaborated (as librettist and stage director) with composer Stanley Silverman on 8 music theater pieces produced by The Music Theater Group & The New York City Opera. He wrote and directed the feature film, Strong Medicine. He has also directed and designed many classical productions with major theaters around the world including, Three Penny Opera, The Golem and plays by Havel, Botho Strauss, and Suzan-Lori Parks for The New York Shakespeare Festival, Die Fledermaus at the Paris opera, Don Giovanni at the Opera de Lille, Philip Glass's Fall of the House of Usher at the American Repertory Theater and The Maggio Musicale in Florence, Woyzeck at Hartford Stage Company, Don Juan at the Gutherie Theater and The New York Shakespeare Festival, Kathy Acker's Birth of the Poet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the RO theater in Rotterdam, Gertrude Stein's Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights at the Autumn Festivals in Berlin and Paris.
Seven collections of his plays have already been published, and books studying his work have been published in New York, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.
(2012, 65', color)A film by Richard Foreman.