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Sidney Sheldon Scholarship Award Given to UCLA Playwright Brian Shoaf

Sheldon's daughter to present award on campus Thursday, June 7, 2007

Brian Shoaf, a graduate playwriting student at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, will receive the annual Sidney Sheldon Scholarship Award for Playwriting from author Mary Sheldon, the daughter of the late legendary writer. The award will be conferred at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, at the Little Theater in UCLA's Macgowan Hall, prior to a performance of Side Show, this year's Ray Bolger Musical Theater Production.

Bill Ward, chair of the UCLA Department of Theater, will join Sheldon in making the presentation to Shoaf, who is being recognized for Rehearsing the Persian Stain. The play takes place behind the scenes at a movie star's self-produced stage debut and examines the impact of celebrity on the lives of various "theater people."

"I'm so proud to be associated with such a tremendously important writer," Shoaf said, "and deeply grateful to Mr. Sheldon's family for this great honor."

With the intention of encouraging young writers, Sidney Sheldon established the Sidney Sheldon Scholarship Award for Screenwriting and Playwriting Fund in 2004. In 2006, he donated his papers, one of the most coveted literary archives of the 20th century, to the UCLA Arts Library Special Collections. The size of that donation, which included the manuscripts for six Broadway plays, 25 film screenplays, more than 200 television scripts, 18 novels and a memoir, reflected the enormous scope of Sheldon's career.

As a screenwriter, Sheldon won an Oscar® for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. He also wrote the screenplays for Easter Parade and Annie Get Your Gun. He won a Tony for the musical Redhead and created the television series The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart. He sold more than 300 million copies of his novels and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "the most translated author in the world."

"We are very proud to be associated with the legacy of Sidney Sheldon," said Robert Rosen, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. "His success in the worlds of theater, film and television parallels our unique program integrating those three artistic disciplines. We are deeply grateful for his generous gift establishing this award and to his family for maintaining it."

Brian Shoaf was born in New Haven, Conn., and raised in Gainesville, Fla. He attended Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting. His plays include Joist Wrote Ulysses and Girder Wrote Faust, The Course: A Play and Its Sequel and The Hong Kong Crocodile. His plays have received staged readings at Second Stage Theatre, the Here Arts Center and the Empty Space Theatre and at UCLA as part of the Francis Ford Coppola One-Act Marathon and the Marianne Murphy Women & Philanthropy Play Reading Series. His work has been produced at the Seattle Fringe Festival and by the Immediate Theater Company at the Here Arts Center. He is also the author of two unpublished novels and several screenplays.

As an actor, Shoaf appeared on Broadway in Major Barbara, produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company. Other acting credits include the Young Playwrights Festival, TheatreWorks USA, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, numerous readings and workshops, and the 2001 off-Broadway revival of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). He also has been the recipient of the Kovler Family Fellowship and the Reach for the Stars Award at UCLA.

Consistently ranked among the leading educational institutions in the nation, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is unique in the world in that it brings together the arts of theater, film and television in one academic institution. UCLA's reputation as an outstanding training ground for the theater, film and television professions and for critical scholarship is based on its long tradition of fostering creative growth, encouraging experimentation and ensuring artistic freedom. Many of the most respected names in the entertainment and communication arts and the world of scholarship are UCLA alumni.

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