The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced today that the 2020 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre – to be presented in September – will go to Fred Gallo, President of PRG Scenic Technologies; Broadway press agent Irene Gandy; stage manager Beverly Jenkins and New Federal Theatre founder Woodie King, Jr.
“We are thrilled to recognize these deserving individuals and organizations with Tony Honors this year,” said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “New Federal Theatre, Fred Gallo, Irene Gandy, and Beverly Jenkins have made immeasurable contributions to the theatre community, and their impact will be felt for years to come.”
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The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theater, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories.
- Gallo, a former stagehand and production carpenter, co-founded Scenic Technologies leading to the formation of his company PRG, one of the world’s leading suppliers of scenery and automation for theatrical productions. He has supervised the build and engineering design for numerous scenic projects, and over the past 40 years Fred has been associated with such shows as The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, The Who’s Tommy, Beauty and the Beast, The Producers, Wicked and and dozens of others. Over the past 12 years, he has designed the renovation of more than 135 theaters to enable them to present large and technically sophisticated productions.
- Irene Gandy was the first Black female press agent member of ATPAM (Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers). Working with Producer Jeffrey Richards for more than three decades, she is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and was a producer for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra MacDonald. She was also co-producer with Voza Rivers of the National tour of South African musical Sarafina. In 2008, she became the first female press agent to be immortalized with a Sardi’s caricature. She began her career in 1968 as a publicist with Douglas Turner Ward and Robert Hooks’ Negro Ensemble Company, and since then has worked on over 100 Broadway shows.
- Beverly Jenkins has been a professional stage manager for over 30 years and is currently the production stage manager for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown. Among her many Broadway credits: A Bronx Tale: The Musical, Fully Committed, Amazing Grace, Living On Love, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Machinal, Godspell, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, In the Heights, Shrek: The Musical, Avenue Q, and more. She is on the board of trustees of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and is co-founder of Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color.
- Woodie King, Jr. founded the New Federal Theatre in 1970 with a mission to integrate artists of color and women into the mainstream of American theater by training artists for the profession and presenting plays by writers of color and women. Among its achievements: For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange was performed on Broadway for 10 months and nominated for the Best Play Tony Award before embarking on a three-year national tour. It has subsequently been performed regionally and around the world, and was revived off-Broadway in 2019. Many performers benefited from early successes on NFT’s stage, including the late Chadwick Boseman, Debbie Allen, Morgan Freeman, Phylicia Rashad, Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson and Issa Rae.
The Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, is set for Sunday, September 26, starting with the presentation of the live awards ceremony at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT exclusively on Paramount+, followed by The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back! special on CBS and Paramount+.
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