Sunday, April 09, 2006

History of the Tony Awards

With the Tony awards Nominations scheduled to be released in just a few weeks, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the origins of the Tony Awards.

The Tony Awards are presented by the American Theater Wing for excellence in theater. They are named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing who had recently passed away. The official Debut of the Tony Awards was at the Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947.

The earlier awards ceremonies were much smaller and more intimate then today. No awards were given the first two years of the Tony's, instead winners were given a scroll and men a lighter, women a compact. In 1949 United Scenic Artists sponsored a contest for a suitable model for the award. The winning entry was the current award - a disk-shaped medallion designed by Herman Rosse, depicted the masks of comedy and tragedy on one side and the profile of Antoinette Perry on the other.

The Tony's were at first only broadcast on the radio. The first TV broadcast was in 1967. In 1968 the medallion was mounted on a black pedestal with a curved arm. After the ceremony, each award is numbered and engraved with the winner's name.

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Community Theater in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York. Information on shows, auditions, and our general adventures onstage, backstage and in the audience.