You often hear me refer to the Tony Awards in association with our faculty at US Performing Arts. So many of our teachers have been honored for their performances by either participating in a production which has been nominated or has received a Tony, or have been nominated for or received one for their personal performance. This award for excellence in the theater, both on Broadway and regionally, was established by the American Theater Wing in 1947 and named after the then famous actress, director and one of the founders of the ATW, Antoinette Perry. I still remember having attended a presentation of these awards as a very young aspiring actress in the 1950s and being so completely awestruck by the people in the room that I had goosebumps! The Diary of Anne Frank was honored that year as the Best Play and although its star Susan Strasberg was nominated the honor went to the absolutely intriguing and captivating actress Julie Harris for her role in The Lark.
Although awards of recognition of one’s excellence in their craft is important, in my opinion the greater good accomplished by the American Theater Wing is in its original purpose. ATW’s purpose or mission statement is in providing education in the theater. That the do that so well and in so many ways. If you are not familiar with the American Theater Wing take time to peruse their website. There you will find clips from Downstage Center, one of my favorite shows, featuring current Broadway actors in interesting discussions with each other and the host. You’ll also find very valuable resources and links to sites with additional helpful information. They feature a number of networking opportunities as well. I think you’ll find their site an important resource of current material.