Theatre Wing May Alter Tony Award Procedure for Investors | Playbill

News Theatre Wing May Alter Tony Award Procedure for Investors
In an effort to maintain the prestige of the Tony Award, the American Theatre Wing, which oversees the theatre's highest honor, may begin offering an alternative award to the ever-growing list of producers who invests in Broadway productions, according to the New York Times.

Individuals who invest in productions that win the Best Play, Best Musical and respective Best Revival categories currently have the option to purchase their own Tony Award statuette for the price of $2,500.

Typically, the two lead producers who oversee a Tony-winning production receive their statuettes at no cost. The remaining group of investors have the option to purchase their own award, thereby making them "Tony Award-winning producers," which has caused concern among industry leaders who feel it diminishes the honor.

"It's important — certainly to those of us who are artists — that the Tony not be diluted by its widespread sale," Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) told the Times. Mr. Hwang sits on the board of the American Theatre Wing.

The Tony Awards and the Broadway League would need to finalize any proposals from the Wing before the new measure would go into effect. It is too late in the current theatrical season to have any impact on the 2014 Tony Awards, which will be presented June 8 at Radio City Music Hall. The Times also reports that it is unlikely the measure, should it be passed, will go into effect in time for the 2015 honors.

William Ivey Long, who is the chairman of the American Theatre Wing, has already begun drafting sketches of what the separate honor will look like for those who invest in Tony-winning productions.

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