Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen, a veteran of Durang's plays who recently appeared in his comedy Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, offered a tribute to the playwright during the gala. Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley (Doubt) offered a tribute to Sultan, who is president of the general counsel at Dramatists Play Service.
Carol Demas, Kristine Nielsen, Kate Jennings Grant, Tommy Tune Celebrate Christopher Durang and Stephen Sultan at Primary Stages Gala
The gala also promised performances by Rachel de Benedet (Catch Me If You Can, Addams Family), Alan Paul (Grease, Oliver!), Michele Ragusa (Urinetown, Ragtime, A Class Act) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Color Purple, Ragtime).
"Primary Stages created the Commitment to New Plays Award to spotlight individuals who have made it a major focus of their careers to champion new plays and new playwrights," said artistic director Casey Childs in a statement. "Since its inception, we have honored such luminaries of the American theatre as Terrence McNally, Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Wendy Wasserstein, Harvey Fierstein, and A.R. Gurney, among others."