Sean Cawelti Receives 2015 Richard E. Sherwood Award

by Jacob Coakley
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Sean Cawelti, a Los Angeles director, won the 2015 Richard E. Sherwood AwardCenter Theatre Group selected Sean Cawelti for the 2015 Richard E. Sherwood Award, recognizing his innovative work with the Los Angeles-based Rogue Artists Ensemble.

LOS ANGELES THEATRE DIRECTOR SEAN CAWELTI SELECTED FOR 2015 RICHARD E. SHERWOOD AWARD

Center Theatre Group’s Award for Early-Career L.A. Artists

Sean Cawelti, a Los Angeles-based theatre director, has been selected as the recipient of Center Theatre Group’s 2015 Richard E. Sherwood Award.

Created in memory of Richard E. Sherwood, the $10,000 award provides financial support for creative and adventurous emerging theatre artists living and working in Los Angeles. “The Sherwood Award supports innovative artists dedicated to Los Angeles, two attributes exemplified by Sean’s artistry and vision,” said Michael Ritchie, CTG Artistic Director.

Cawelti is an independent director and the Founding Artistic Director of Rogue Artists Ensemble, a Los Angeles-based theatre company that creates hyper-theatre through the innovative use of puppetry, masks and multimedia.

“I am fascinated with the intersection between old and new, between modern technology, including media integration, and folk traditions such as puppetry and mask work,” Cawelti said. “Puppets are conductors of energy powered by the hands and hearts of the many who bring them to life. These objects are only more powerful in 2014 and I believe there is an urgent relevancy that occurs when we harness these objects.”

Cawelti has directed all but one of Rogue Artists Ensemble’s 16 productions. His recent credits include “HYPERBOLE: bard,” a mask, puppet, and music mash-up that takes themes and characters from some of Shakespeare’s greatest works to create something entirely new. The work toured throughout the West Coast. His upcoming productions include “Pinocchio,” a modern-day retelling of the original Carlo Collodi novel, which will open this fall. He has also collaborated with theatres throughout Los Angeles, including Cornerstone Theater Company, A Noise Within and The Theatre @ Boston Court. He has received numerous nominations for his work from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Ovation Awards.

Since 1996, the Sherwood Award has met a vital need in the Los Angeles theatre landscape. “If we are to have dynamic theatre expressing the world of the 21st century, we must recognize and nourish the explorative artist, particularly in the struggle of the early years of a career,” said Dorothy Sherwood, wife of Richard E. Sherwood.

Richard E. Sherwood was a patron of the arts with a special appreciation for emerging artists who are in the vanguard of theatre. He was president and then chairman of the CTG Board of Directors from 1980 until his passing in 1993. The award is established as an endowed fund at CTG by his family, friends, colleagues and fellow board members to honor Sherwood’s passionate commitment to theatre.

The Sherwood Award was presented to Cawelti at the Ovation Awards ceremony produced by LA Stage Alliance on November 2, 2014.