After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, The American Theatre Wing's annual gala is presented in person September 12 at Cipriani 42nd Street.
The evening, which includes cocktails, dinner, and a star-studded performance, honors the legacy of actor, director, and activist Antoinette “Tony” Perry, alongside the past, present, and future contributions of women to the American theatre.
Attendees can expect to hear the work of such women theatre artists as Jeanine Tesori, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Kirsten Childs, Micki Grant, Lynn Ahrens, and more. Performers include Kate Baldwin, The Broadway Boys, Gretchen Cryer, Amber Gray, Aisha de Haas, Luna, Charlotte Maltby, Bonnie MillIgan, Leilani Patao, Caesar Samayoa, Tesori, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Sherz Aletaha, and Rona Siddiqui.
Nemuna Ceesay directs the concert portion of the evening with music direction by Georgia Stitt. Musicians include Rosa Avila, Beth Callen, and Yuka Tadano.
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 do so. 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.
“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,'' said Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens in an earlier statement. “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.”
The gala is co-produced by Groundswell Theatricals' Staci Levine and Class Productions' Lauren Class Schneider.
Honorary chairs include Lynn Ahrens, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Dede Ayite, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Camille A. Brown, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Linda Cho, Diana DiMenna, Sonia Friedman, John Gore, Maria Manuela Goyanes, Rachel Hauck, Palmer Hefferan, Susan Hilferty, JoAnn M. Hunter, Alia Jones-Harvey, Amy Jacobs, Toni-Leslie James, Erica Jensen, Cookie Jordan, Natasha Katz, Lorin Latarro, Mimi Lien, Kathleen Marshall, Cricket S. Myers, Shakina Nayfack, James L. Nederlander, Nick Scandalios, Cynthia Nixon, Lynn Nottage, Jordan Roth, Tara Rubin, Catherine Schreiber, Christine Schwarzman, Leigh Silverman, Cherie B. Tay, Jeanine Tesori, Liesl Tommy, Bob Wankel, Donyale Werle, Tamilla Woodard, and Paloma Young. Pam Barbey, Robyn Coles, Meg Fofonoff, Elaine Wilson, and Nadine Wong serve as Gala Chairs.
The Gala aims to raise over $1.2 million for programs including the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, the Jonathan Larson Grants, Springboard to Design, and The Network for Emerging Leaders in the Theatre, all of which open doors for the next generation of arts workers—on stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience.
Past honorees have included Jonathan Larson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, James Earl Jones, Dame Angela Lansbury, Harold Prince, the Redgrave Family, Sir Howard Stringer, Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman, Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Isabelle Stevenson, Jerry Bock, Cy Coleman, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Marvin Hamlisch, Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse, Graciela Daniele, Kathleen Marshall, Susan Stroman, Julie Taymor, and more.
The American Theatre Wing is a not-for-profit organization, founded on the eve of America’s entry into WWI by seven suffragists and theatre makers who came together to support the nation by harnessing the power of theatre. More than a century later, ATW’s work continues to be driven by the belief that theatre is essential to our economic, educational, social, and emotional well-being as a society.
For tickets and more information, email [email protected]