Somlyo, who has served as Wing president for the past five years, has agreed to remain in the position until the end of June and will be part of the search committee to replace him. He will also stay with the Wing as a consultant through the end of 2003. According to a statement, Wing chairman Isabelle Stevenson accepted the resignation “with great reluctance and sincere regrets.”
Somlyo came to the Wing in 1998 after a career in theatre and television, which included producing or managing more than 100 Broadway and touring shows. He has also worked, often as a producer, on the American Theatre Wing’s annual Tony Awards since the first network telecast in 1967.
About his resignation, Somlyo said, “After five wonderful years at the American Theatre Wing and 37 years with the Wing’s Tony Awards, it seems a good time to step aside.” Stevenson countered, “It is with a heavy heart that I see Roy leaving the Wing and moving on. He has been so enormously helpful in all we do. I came to rely on his strength, his knowledge and expertise. The theatrical community knows him as the authority on the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards, which he served so devotedly. I know him as a loyal friend, colleague and tireless worker. I wish him continued success in whatever endeavors he pursues.”
When Somlyo joined the Wing, leaving his position as managing producer of the Tony Awards, one of his first chores was to modernize the offices, which are now fully computerized. “I am particularly proud of having just created a very special website for the Wing,” said Somlyo. Under his guidance Wing membership increased by 800%, and he leaves the Wing more financially secure. He also created The American Theatre Wing’s Guide to Careers in the Theatre, and he turned the Wing’s Spring Honors event into an lavish affair.
Somlyo also brought his Tony Awards experience to his job at the Wing, and he was the principal architect of Tony Award Productions, a partnership between The League of American Theatres and Producers and the Wing that oversees the Tonys. Somlyo is also credited with maintaining the Wing’s presence in connection with the annual Tony Awards ceremony.