· Freddie Gershon: In 1994, Mr. Gershon conceived Music Theatre International’s Broadway KIDS/Broadway JR. (www.broadwayjr.com) introducing musical theatre in 30- and 60-minute versions of Broadway works to elementary and middle schools adapted for performance by students (author approved). This American art form is kept alive as students experience the process of performing their own productions of an authentic Broadway musical while collaborating with their fellow students on costumes, sets & other theatre crafts. Since 1994, over 70,000 separate productions have taken place in America, involving 4,000,000 children. www.freddiegershon.com
· Artie Siccardi: Since 1977, Mr Siccardi, Production Supervisor of Arthur Siccardi Theatrical Services, Inc. has overseen more than 200 Broadway productions including: Gypsy; Grease; A Chorus Line; Chicago; Hello, Dolly!; Cats; The Real Thing; Ballroom; Dreamgirls; Broadway Bound; Chess; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Jerome Robbins' Broadway; City of Angels; Biloxi Blues; Annie; Dirty Dancing; My One and Only; Victor/Victoria; My Fair Lady; Sunset Boulevard; Fiddler on the Roof; Mamma Mia!; and Annie Get Your Gun; and he has worked alongside directors such as Mike Nichols; Michael Bennett; Jerome Robbins; Tommy Tune; Gower Champion and Michael Blakemore.
· TDF Open Doors: Through Theatre Development Fund’s arts education program, TDF Open Doors, mentors introduce New York City public high school students to theatre. These mentors are working theatre professionals (directors, actors, producers, playwrights, etc.) rich with knowledge of theatre craft and history. Founded in 1998 by TDF and playwright Wendy Wasserstein, the program operates on the belief that theatregoing is the birthright of every New Yorker. Each mentor is matched with eight high school seniors from an underserved New York City high school, and brings the students to six Broadway and/or Off Broadway performances over the course of an entire school year. These talented and accomplished mentors are the best possible ambassadors to introduce the arts to young people as they engage their groups in lively, in-depth post-performance discussions and journaling. TDF Open Doors has proven that through this personal and dynamic interaction, a deep appreciation of theatre an understanding of its relevance is fostered in the students’ lives. For more information go to: www.tdf.org/opendoors.
“The Tony Eve Cocktail Party gives us the opportunity to not only celebrate the year’s Tony nominees, but to also give our sincere thanks and appreciation to the everyday heroes in our community,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. “This year’s recipients of the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre -- Feddie Gershon, Artie Siccardi and the TDF Open Doors Program – have all made extraordinary contributions to our community and are true champions to be celebrated,” said Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing.
The Tony Award Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 1st and can be viewed LIVE in their entirety at www.TonyAwards.com. Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced (Twitter.com/TheTonyAwards).
The 66th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from the Beacon Theatre on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 10, 2012. For more information on the Tony Awards, please visit www.TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Twitter.
# # #
About the Tony Awards
The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Nick Scandalios is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is Executive Director. At the American Theatre Wing, Theodore S. Chapin is Chairman and Heather Hitchens is Executive Director. For Tony Award Productions, Alan Wasser and Allan Williams of Alan Wasser Associates are the General Managers. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2012 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2012 Tony Awards.
IBM, an official information technology partner of the Tony Awards, develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards website, www.TonyAwards.com. Audemars Piguet is the presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards Red Carpet and Green Room. United Airlines is the official airline of the Tony Awards. Avis is the official rental car of the Tony Awards. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is the official Hotel Partner of the Tony Awards, sponsor of the Creative Arts Awards and host of the Tony Nominee Luncheon, and Tony Eve Cocktail Party presenting the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.