Gersten, executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater, will receive the John Houseman Award for his work at Lincoln Center and as Joseph Papp's associate producer of The New York Shakespeare Festival. Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be presented with the Joan Warburg Humanitarian Award for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against AIDS.
Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer and Tony winner Patti LuPone will entertain. Angela Lansbury, Marian Seldes, Elizabeth Wilson, Campbell Scott, Dana Ivey, Shubert Organization's Philip Smith and Robert Wankel, Jujamcyn Theater's Paul Libin, Equity's Nick Wyman, The Actors Fund's Joe Benecasa and The Broadway League's Charlotte St. Martin will also be part of the tribute evening.
Bernard Gersten's body of work includes A Chorus Line, For Colored Girls…, Streamers, Sticks and Bones and Hair at NYSF and, at LCT, The Coast of Utopia, Henry IV, King Lear, Anything Goes, South Pacific, Speed-the-Plow, The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, The Sisters Rosensweig, Carousel, The Heiress, Arcadia, Ivanov, Parade, The Light in the Piazza, The Invention of Love, Contact, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, A Free Man of Color and 2011's War Horse.
Under Colleen Dewhurst's presidency of Actors Equity, Viola became the founding administrative director of Equity Fights AIDS in 1988, saw through its merger with Broadway Cares in 1992 and has been executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS since 1997.
Actor/director Campbell Scott, son of the late Dewhurst and George C. Scott will present the Warburg Award to Viola along with Joan Warburg, president of the Acting Company and life-long friend of Ms. Dewhurst. LuPone will present the award to Gersten. For tickets, priced $75-$1,000, call (212) 258-3111.
Founded by Oscar winner John Houseman and current Producing Artistic Director Margot Harley in 1972, The Acting Company is America's leading and most honored touring repertory theater having reached 3.5 million people in 48 states and 10 foreign countries with 135 classic and new works.