Award-winning television writer-producer and playwright Sarah Treem ’98 can soon lay claim to another yet accolade: Durham Academy’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award. Treem’s most recent honor will be presented April 28 at DA’s Spring Alumni Reception at 6 p.m. in the Upper School Commons.
Treem is the co-creator of The Affair, which won the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and is now in its third season on Showtime. She was a writer and co-executive producer on the inaugural season of Netflix’s House of Cards, which was nominated for nine Golden Globes. She also wrote for all three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series In Treatment. Treem won the 2014 Writers Guild of America Award (New Series) for House of Cards and the 2009 Writers Guild of America Award (New Series) for In Treatment.
“As a new sophomore in my English class at DA in 1995, Sarah showed many of the traits visible today in her life and work: wide-eyed perceptiveness, searing honesty, and ardent curiosity about the human condition,” said Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “How gratifying it was to watch her find her bliss in the theater (here and beyond) and now earn such receptive, grateful audiences on TV. She deserves every bit of her success!”
Treem began writing poetry at age 8 and penned her first play, Who Am I Going to Sit with at Lunch? when she was in middle school. The play won a young playwright award and was staged in Connecticut, where Treem lived until moving to Durham in 1995. She continued writing throughout high school, college (B.A. from Yale in 2002) and graduate school (M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama in 2005). Treem’s most recent stage production, When We Were Young and Unafraid, premiered in summer 2014 at New York’s City Center Stage 1 and starred Cherry Jones and Zoe Kazan.
The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1983 when the school celebrated its 50th anniversary. Fifty-four alumni have been honored with the award, which recognizes individuals who “have distinguished themselves in their business, profession or vocation and through their actions have demonstrated concern for, and service to, their community. The individuals should have shown loyalty to Durham Academy, and their personal values and achievements should be representative of Durham Academy's highest ideals."