New York.- New York Universityʼs Tisch School of the Arts has announced the establishment of a scholarship fund to honor the distinguished and transformative teaching career of film and stage legend Olympia Dukakis. The annual award, to be named the Olympia Dukakis Scholarship Fund, will be given to one outstanding student chosen from the Tisch Schoolʼs Graduate Acting Program.
“For more than a decade beginning in the 1960s, Olympia Dukakis served as one of the creative pioneers of the Tisch Schoolʼs Graduate Acting Program,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts and associate provost of the arts at NYU. “Her vision of the actor and of actor training required the need to develop a distinctive artistic voice, to experiment, to play and at times fail, to work in a collaborative ensemble while training, to provide close and constant attention from teachers, and to connect to the real world and the issues and problems of contemporary life. We hope this important scholarship will inspire a new generation of actors to follow her example and commitment to excellence.”
The daughter of Greek immigrants, Olympia Dukakis began her theatrical career in Boston and co-founded Bostonʼs renowned Charles Playhouse in 1958. Five years later, she made her film debut in director Robert Rossenʼs film Lillith. She began teaching at NYUʼs innovative new School of the Arts soon after its founding in 1965. Her colleagues on the faculty at the time included Martin Scorsese, Saul Bellow, Jules Fischer, and Lloyd Richards, among others.
Students of Olympia Dukakis who have gone on to achieve great success include Golden-Globe winner Barry Bostwick, two time Golden-Globe nominee Jeff Conaway, Academy-Award nominee Michael McKean, Emmy and Grammy winner Christopher Guest, and star of movies and television Dan Moran, whose Tisch School training would have not been possible without scholarship support. Others who have emerged from the Graduate Acting Program that she helped to shape include Academy-Award winner Marcia Gay Harden, Emmy-Award winner Debra Messing, Tony-Award winners Frank Wood and Stephen Spinella, Emmy and Golden- Globe winner Camryn Manheim, and Pulitzer-Prize winner Tony Kushner.
The Tisch School of the Arts invites support of the fund to celebrate the values and principles of Olympia Dukakis. Interested individuals may contact: Frederick E. A. Bush, Director of Development, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, at (212) 998-6954; or email@example.com.
The Tisch School of the Arts, comprising the Performing Arts Institute, the Jack H. Skirball Center for New Media and Film and the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, is one of the nationʼs preeminent centers for professional training, scholarship, and research in the performing and cinematic arts. It offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees and draws students from around the world. Over 3,000 students pursue degrees in acting, dance, design, drama, musical theatre, recorded music, performance studies, film and television, cinema studies, dramatic writing, photography and interactive telecommunications.