Get all the dirt.

We'll send you the latest news on upcoming shows, events, and programs hosted by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation.
You'll be the first to know.

Email address required
First name required
Last name required

Awards and Honors

2020 Honorees:

Tao House Award: Joy Carlin
Open Gate Award: Carole Wynstra
Artistic Award:  Eric Fraisher Hayes
Freeman Award: Joyce Michalczyk
Partnership Award: The Town of Danville;
Superintendent Tom Leatherman

and the National Park Service Staff




2020 – The Town of Danville; Superintendent Tom Leatherman and the National Park Service Staff

2014 – Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation; East Bay Regional Park District

2013 – Role Players Ensemble

2012 – Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation

2009 – Sunset Development Company

2008 – Museum of the San Ramon Valley

2006 – National Park Service; Contra Costa Times and its Community Newspapers



This award is given to a person who, in the opinion of the board, has served the American Theater with distinction. The recipient may be actively involved in performance areas, including acting, directing, design or producing and may also be a critic or scholar who has written significantly about the theater in the United States. Recipients of the Tao House Award are:

2020 – Joy Carlin, actor, director and artistic director

2017 – Carey Perloff, long-time artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), San Francisco

2008 – Paul Robeson (posthumously), actor, leading roles in The Emperor Jones and All God’s Chillun Got Wings; and Robert Brustein, critic, author, director; former Dean of the Yale School of Drama and director of American Repertory Theater

2007 – Ed Hastings, founding member of the American Conservatory Theatre, the Tony Award winning regional theatre in San Francisco.

2006 – Cherry Jones, actress, Tony Award nominee for her role in A Moon for the Misbegotten.

2006 – Stephen Black, O’Neill scholar, author of works on O’Neill.

2003 – Paul Libin, Broadway producer and collaborator with Theodore Mann.

1999 – Theodore Mann, producer of 16 plays by Eugene O’Neill.

1996 – Arthur and Barbara Gelb, biographers of O’Neill.

1994 – Donald Gallup, curator of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

1993 – Travis Bogard, author, editor and O’Neill scholar at UC Berkeley.

1989 – Jason Robards, Jr., actor renowned for roles in O’Neill’s major plays and longtime supporter of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House.



This award honors those who have served as directors of the foundation and whose dedication and service have enhanced the memory of Eugene O’Neill. Recipients of the Open Gate Award are:

2020 – Carole Wynstra

2014 – Claudia Nemir

2012 – Florence McAuley and Robert Rezak

2009 – Beverly Lane

2008 – Carol Sherrill

2007 – Diane Schinnerer

2006 – Wendy Cooper

2004 – Virginia Denison

2003 – Linda Best

1998 – Frances Chumley

1995 – Ruth Turner

1993 – Craig Dorman

1992 – Darlene Blair and Lois Sizoo

1991 – Thalia Brewer



The Artistic Award (The Genie) is given to individuals who have been outstanding in their commitment to the Foundation’s mission to provide artistic and educational programs which focus on the contribution of Eugene O’Neill to the American theater. Recipients of the Artistic Award are:

2020 – Eric Fraisher Hayes

2012 – Jack DeRieux

2009 – Dan Cawthon

2006 – Michael Uppendal

2003 – Kerri Shawn and Richard James



This award is named for Herbert Freeman. He served as chauffeur and “man of all work” and friend. He is credited with helping to make life more comfortable for the O’Neills at Tao House. This award is presented to volunteers who have tirelessly given their time and talents to the Eugene O’Neill Foundation. Recipients of the Freeman Award are:

2020 – Joyce Michalczyk

2013 – Carol Lea Jones, Thomas Donahoe

2006 – Michael Cook

2004 – J.R.K. Kantor

2003 – Tony Cooper



The Tao House Hero Award is presented to honor an individual or organization who has made a unique and extraordinary contribution in perpetuating the legacy of Eugene O’Neill.

2014 – Congressman George Miller



In 2001 an endowment fund was established to honor the memory of Lois Sizoo, founding member of the Foundation. This fund is the repository for all memorial gifts to the foundation. This fund will support the work of new playwrights.