This year's recipients include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Career Transition for Dancers, William "Bill" Craver, Peter Lawrence and The Lost Colony, as well as Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro, who share the title role in Matilda The Musical.
The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to "institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories," according to The Tony Awards.
“We are truly ecstatic to announce this year’s recipients of the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre," said Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing, in an earlier statement. "Career Transition for Dancers, Bill Craver, Peter Lawrence and The Lost Colony are all exceptional members of the theatre community – and more than that, they are part of the fabric of American theatre history.”
“The Tony Eve Cocktail Party is the kick-off celebration to the Tony Awards. It gives us a chance to pay homage to the best of Broadway – both those on-stage and off – as well as to the members of the community who help bring magic to the stage each and every night,” added Charlotte St. Martin, executive director, The Broadway League, in a statement.
Details about each of the honorees, courtesy of the Tony Awards, follow: Mayor Bloomberg is being recognized for his support of the Broadway community and his dedication to New York City tourism. Mayor Bloomberg has been a champion for New York City tourism - with 65 percent of theatregoers coming into New York City from outside of the tri-state area. Over the past 12 years, he has not only supported the community through good times and through times of crisis – he has been an advocate for strengthening the community through innovative programs such as “Spotlight on Broadway,” a new interactive multimedia initiative, launching this Fall, that showcases the theatre community and highlights the history of the 40 Broadway theatres, and will feature a huge theatre district map in Duffy Square.
Career Transition For Dancers: "Born out of a 1982 conference at Lincoln Center, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, several foundations, and performing arts unions and Chaired by Agnes de Mille, Career Transition For Dancers is the only nonprofit organization in the United States solely dedicated to helping thousands of dancers take their first steps in discovering rewarding careers when performing is no longer an option. With more than 5,800 active clients today; offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago; and a mobile National Outreach Project, Career Transition For Dancers has provided over 60,000 hours of individual and group career counseling and awarded millions in educational and entrepreneurial support to aid dancers in their unique transitions."
William “Bill” Craver: "Mr. Craver became a part of Paradigm, A literary and talent agency, as a result of its acquisition of Writers & Artists Agency where he was a partner and a President of the New York office. He began his career with the distinguished Broadway producer, Saint Subber, and while in his employ Mr. Craver worked on the original Broadway productions of Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple and Plaza Suite, as well as Mike Nichols’ revival of The Little Foxes. As General Manager or Company Manager he worked on more than 50 Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. He ran the business operation of the premiere productions of The House of Blue Leaves, El Grande De Coca-Cola and the record breaking revival of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He produced two Off-Broadway plays and has been Associate Producer of a CBS-TV mini-series, a feature film released by Columbia Pictures and co-Producer of a Movie of the week for CBS. At Writers & Artists Agency three of his clients, David Auburn (Proof), Jonathan Larson (Rent) and Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle) have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama."
Peter Lawrence: "Mr. Lawrence has served as Production Stage Manager for over 20 Broadway shows. He was the Associate Director for the Broadway revivals of The Man of La Mancha, Gypsy and Annie Get Your Gun, and for the original productions of Spamalot and Shrek, The Musical. Mr. Lawrence was the Executive Producer for Miss Saigon and Les Miserables, and has taught in the Drama Departments of The University of Hawaii and Columbia University. He is currently the Production Stage Manager for the Broadway revival of Annie."
The Lost Colony: "The Lost Colony on Roanoke Island, in Manteo, North Carolina, is celebrating its 76th anniversary this year and is still going strong, The Lost Colony is a play by Pulitzer Prize winning Paul Green that has become an North Carolina performing arts institution. It was first performed on July 4, 1937, and remains today one of the last of the Federal Theatre Projects – an outdoor symphonic drama based on the story of the first English colonists that vanished from their settlement. The list of artists who spent summers at The Lost Colony is quite impressive, from Joe Layton to Andy Griffth to Lynn Redgrave and Steve Kazee."