The American Theatre Wing has announced the imminent return of its annual gala, which will be held September 12 at Cipriani 42nd Street. The gala will honor the legacy of actor, director, and activist Antoinette “Tony” Perry, alongside the past, present, and future contributions of women+ to the American theatre.
Antoinette Perry was a devoted member of the theatrical community. Beginning her theatrical career as an actor, she became a director at a time when it was nearly unheard of for a woman to hold that position of power. She was tireless in her efforts as an activist, organizer, and promoter of causes that benefited and uplifted her community. Ms. Perry served as an officer for the American Theatre Wing (of which she was a founding member), and she spearheaded many of the Wing’s wartime efforts. She also helped to establish the American Theatre Wing Professional School, which launched the careers of Tony Bennett, Bob Fosse, Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, and many more. Upon her death, the Broadway community immortalized her legacy by creating the Tony awards, so named for her preferred nickname.
The gala aims to raise $500,000 for the Wing’s Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust. The initiative supports change in the American theatre by financing new resources designed to strengthen the pipeline for historically underrepresented talent on stage and off.
“Women+ have made invaluable contributions to the theatre that trace back all the way back to the roots of our organization. There isn’t a more relevant and influential pioneer to pay tribute to than one of the American Theatre Wing’s founders: Antoinette Perry,'' says Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens. “Antoinette’s legacy continues to pave the American theatre’s dynamic future, as her work inspires generations of strong, talented, and remarkable women+ and other new artists year after year.”