The New York Times reports that Rylance gave his Tony Award to 71-year-old builder Mickey Lay, a resident of Pewsey, a village west of London where Butterworth’s play is set. Rylance had consulted Lay while he was creating the character for the original London production.
When asked why he decided to give his award to Lay, Rylance told The Independent of London, "I think he’d really like it. He was very generous with me and invited me into his house and talked with me for six hours or so on different occasions about his life as a Romany gypsy man in England."
Rather than thanking his co-stars or others directly related to the play, Rylance memorably performed Louis Jenkins' poem "Walking through a Wall" during his Tony acceptance speech.
The limited engagement of British playwright Butterworth's three-hour play, extended once, ends Aug. 21 as scheduled at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street), prior to the production returning to London's West End, where it will begin performances on Oct. 8 at the Apollo Theatre.
For tickets and information, visit www.telecharge.com or www.JerusalemBroadway.com.