Matthew Maguire, M.F.A., chairman of the Department of Theatre and Visual Arts at Fordham University and the newly appointed director of the theatre program, received an Obie Award on Monday, May 21, for his play, Abandon.
Abandon, a drama about a young woman who is desperately afraid of love, was written and directed by Maguire, who won in the best director category. This is the second Obie for Maguire, who received his first Obie in 1998 for his performance in Mac Wellman’s one-man play, I Don’t Know Who He Was and I Don’t Know What He Said. The Obie awards, or Off-Broadway Theatre Awards, are given annually by the Village Voice for outstanding achievement in Off-Broadway productions.
“I really love all aspects of the theatre and I try to practice in more than one area,” said Maguire, who has written more than a dozen plays, “so this Obie is recognition that it is possible to accomplish that.”
Maguire’s success comes on the heels of his appointment in April as director of the theatre program at Fordham. He had served as acting director of the program since August 2006, following the death of Lawrence Sacharow. Maguire, who has been a faculty member in the department since 1992, also directs the playwriting program at Fordham.
“As the search committee interviewed distinguished theatre professionals from around the world, it became clear to every member of the committee that Matthew Maguire was far and away the best person to lead our theatre program into the future,” said Robert Grimes, S.J., Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. “His second Obie is simply confirmation of what we already knew.”
As founder and co-artistic director of Creation Production Company, a New York-based production company of innovative forms of theatre, Maguire has helped produce 47 original works for the stage in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and Amsterdam, among other places. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment of the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, a Hammerstein Fellowship, a McKnight Fellowship and various commissions from the New York State Council on the Arts.