Celebrating Excellence in the Theatre
Named for actress, stage director and philanthropist Antoinette Perry, the first awards took place on Easter Sunday, April 6, , in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. An Award For Excellence. The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® got their start in when the Wing established an awards program to celebrate excellence in the theatre. Named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing who had recently passed away, the Tony Awards made their official debut at a dinner in the Grand Ballroom of .
The effect a Tony Award has on a Broadway production is similar to what an Oscar can do for a Hollywood film. Although it may seem like a mainstay now, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, most commonly known as the Tony Awards, has only been handed out by the American Theatre Wing since Unfortunately, Perry had passed away.
It was her work partner Brock Pemberton, a theatre producer and director, that first suggested the award be named in her honor. Perry was a producer and director who was a trailblazer for women in theatre, not letting the male-dominated how to spot mars at night stop her for pursuing her dream, and later, her philanthropic work.
Even the award medallion itself used to pay homage to Perry. The other side displays the comedy and tragedy masks that have long been associated with theatre and acting. Inthe medallion was once again changed, as it was mounted to a black base.
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Jun 11, · The Tony came by its common name at the very first event, held at the Waldorf Astoria on Easter Sunday, April 6, When he was presenting an award (then a . The Tony Awards is actually named after a woman, not a man. According to the Tony Awards official website, the Tony Awards are named after "Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing." Antoinette Perry. 74 rows · Tony Awards, annual awards for distinguished achievement in American theatre. Named for .
Named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing who had recently passed away, the Tony Awards made their official debut at a dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Easter Sunday, April 6, Eleven Tonys were presented in seven categories, and there were eight special awards, including one for Vincent Sardi, proprietor of the eponymous eatery on West 44th Street. The Broadway community embraced the Tonys from the beginning.
While the awards ceremony in its early years was smaller than it is today, the annual gala dinner quickly became one of the highlights of the New York theatre season. More than 1, guests attended the first Tony dinner in In the 18 years that followed, the dinner and Tony Awards presentations took place in ballrooms of such hotels as the Plaza, the Waldorf Astoria, and the Astor.
The ceremony was subdued and, for the first and only time, held in the afternoon without entertainment. The following year the Tony ceremony was once again a gala affair, but with a key difference. For the first time, a national audience could watch the presentation of Tony Awards. Alexander H. Cohen produced the historic broadcast, which lasted only an hour, and organized a celebratory gala that followed immediately afterward.
That year the Tonys moved from their traditional hotel ballroom setting to a Broadway theatre—the Shubert. Cohen continued to produce the awards ceremony and the gala dinner for the next two decades, overseeing their national telecast on various networks on behalf of the League and the Wing. During his tenure, the Tonys became known as the finest awards program on television, incorporating live performances with the bestowal of actual awards.
The Cohen era ended in , and that year the Wing and the League created Tony Award Productions, a joint venture that has continued to produce the awards and their related events to this day.
CBS began carrying the awards ceremony in , and has broadcast the Tonys nationally every year since. For six years beginning with the 51st annual awards presentation in , the Tony Awards program aired under a unique partnership between CBS and PBS. However, beginning in , CBS devoted an entire three-hour time slot to the Tonys. The result has been a seamless awards and entertainment program broadcast on that network.
The Tonys celebrated a milestone in when the awards ceremony moved away from Broadway for the first time in three decades. The Tony Awards continues to grow and expand its reach globally. In , TonyAwards. The telecast is now broadcast on six continents as Broadway fans worldwide join the Tony Awards in celebrating theatrical excellence.
During the first two years of the Tonys and , there was no official Tony Award. The winners were presented with a scroll and, in addition, such mementos as a gold money clip for the men and a compact for the women. The winning entry was a disk-shaped medallion designed by Herman Rosse that remains the official Tony Award to this day.
The medallion was initiated that year at the third annual dinner. Since , the Tony medallion has been mounted on a black pedestal with a curved armature. Each award is numbered for tracking purposes. Celebrating Excellence in the Theatre. An Award For Excellence. The Early Years.
The Television Era. Julie Andrews performing at the Tony Awards. In the 21st Century. The Medallion. The Tony Award.
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