Tony Time: Investors May Soon No Longer Be Able To Purchase Tony Award
As times change, so do traditions. Broadway shows cost millions of dollars to produce. Yes, even plays. As costs for these productions have risen over the past couple of years, so have the numbers of people needed to put them on. Big Broadway musicals in recent years have easily had up to or over 20 producers involved with raising the money needed to put on the show. However, if that show is honored, so must the people who made it possible. Right? But with so many people being honored, does that take away from what the award really means? That is the currently problem facing The American Wing as they find themselves looking to adjust in the middle of the 2014 Tony Awards season. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that The American Theatre Wing is considering changing a rule they have which currently allows investors who finance Broadway shows to purchase a Tony Award for their production if it wins!
With less than one month to go until the 2014 Tony Awards, The American Theatre Wing has announced changes are currently in the works regarding the Tony Award statue for those specifically involved in financing Broadway productions. In an effort to maintain the Tony Award’s prestige, the wing is currently pursuing the idea an alternative award for those who help support the show financially. This move comes as the list of investors per Broadway production has significantly grown over the past several years.
Currently, any investor who is involved with a production that receives the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical or Best Revival of a Play has the opportunity to purchase a Tony Award statue. The current price for the statue is $2,500. The two leading investors, who oversee the small ones, each receive a statue at no cost during the Tony Awards ceremony. However, the option allowing investors to purchase the statue gives them the status of a “Tony-Award winning producer”. This label has the league and many industry officials concerned which has led to the announcement of a potential change. (Pictured Above: The change to the Tony Award which occurred just years ago regarding size and weight)
Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang, who also sits on the board of The American Theatre Wing, said in an interview:
“It’s important – certainly to those of us who are artists – that the Tony not be diluted by its widespread sale.”
As previously mentioned, with the 2014 Tony Awards less than a month away, no changes will affect the 2014 award winners. However, any change after this season is highly possible. The Tony Awards and The Broadway League would need to finalize and approve any proposal before it could take place. Tony Award winning designer and chairman of the American Theatre Wing, William Ivey Long (Pictured Left), has already begun to draft sketches of what this newly created award could specifically look like for those who invest in Tony Award winning productions.
Could Broadway see the creation of a new award for investors of Tony Award winning productions? A move by the American Theatre Wing while collaborating with The Broadway League and Tony Awards would be historic. No other award, like the one mentioned above, has even been conceived of given out before. Hang in there folks – we could see Broadway history take place right before us! Until than though, let’s cherish our classic Tony Award design and get excited to celebrate another great year of theatre! For more information, visit The Tony Award’s Official Website. And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!