Theatre and Dance faculty member Dan Hurlin wins Rome Prize

Dan Hurlin, a member of the Theatre and Dance faculty and director of the Graduate Program in Theatre, where he teaches dance composition and puppetry, has been awarded a coveted 2013-14 Rome Prize in the visual arts from the American Academy in Rome.  

Hurlin is the recipient of the Jesse Howard, Jr. Rome Prize, one of four in the visual arts category. The Rome Prize is awarded annually to approximately 30 individuals who represent the highest standard of excellence in the fields of ancient, medieval, Renaissance and early modern, and modern Italian studies, literature, music composition, visual arts, architecture, landscape architecture, design, and historic preservation and conservation, following a national competition, presided over by rotating independent juries of peers in each discipline.

Prize recipients are invited to the Academy in Rome, a center for the arts and the humanities, considered to be the premier American overseas center for independent study and advanced research.

Beginning in September, Hurlin will spend 11 months developing a puppet project using Futurist performance texts (Sintesi), manifestos, and visual art. He will create miniature versions of the Sintesi, which are short, forceful plays designed to create the maximum effect with a minimum of language and time. Still in its beginning stages, "the work involves about a dozen toy-theatres, constructed to look like Futurist buildings. The plays will be performed simultaneously, in one large room, in homage to the Futurists' love of the Variety Theatre and their obsessions with simultaneity and chaos," he says.

Hurlin, a Sarah Lawrence alumnus, has long been the recipient of numerous awards, among them a 1990 Village Voice OBIE award for his solo adaptation of Nathanael West's "A Cool Million," and a 2001 New York Dance and Performance award for his suite of puppet pieces "Everyday Uses for Sight Nos. 3 & 7." In 1998, he was nominated for an American Theater Wing Design award for his set design for his music theater piece "The Shoulder." His large puppet piece "Hiroshima Maiden" premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and was awarded a Union Internationale de la Marionette citation of excellence. His most recent piece, "Disfarmer," also premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and was the subject of David Soll’s 2011 documentary "Puppet."

Recipient of individual artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Hampshire State Council on the arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Creative Capital, Hurlin was the director of the Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse for nine years, served on the board of the Jim Henson Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the MacDowell Colony. In addition to the Rome Prize for visual art, Hurlin was also the recipient of a 2003 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship for choreography, the 2004 Alpert Award in the Arts for theatre, and the 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow in Theatre.