About the Wing

2012 Tony Awards Ceremony
2012 Tony Awards Ceremony
2014 Annual Gala to Honor Dame Angela Lansbury

2014 Annual Gala to Honor Dame Angela Lansbury

2014 Annual Gala to Honor Dame Angela Lansbury
The trained imagination of the theatre can be used for serving humanity in more ways than entertaining.
Rachel Crothers, Founder of The American Theatre Wing
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Who We Are

In 2017, we will celebrate 100 years of service to the American Theatre. We have been tirelessly committed to championing and honoring American Theatre. By creating the Tony Awards®, developing educational programs and through distributing thousands of dollars of grants and awards each year, the American Theatre Wing is dedicated to preserving the past, celebrating the present, and fostering the future of American theatre nationwide.

About The Wing

What We Do

We Celebrate & Support through awards, grants and programs. We Illuminate & Document the people that create American Theatre. We Engage & Educate the next generation of audiences and practitioners.

Achievements in 2013

  • 42%

    of the 2013 SpringboardNYC class represented diversity — more diversity than ever.

  • 95%

    of SpringboardNYC alumni are still active in the industry

  • 23%

    ratings increase for the Tony telecast, resulting from creating and implementing a new digital strategy

  • 1,200

    theatre tickets offered in 2013 to Theatre Intern Network members to help expand their opportunities

  • 773,573

    minutes of the Wing’s media programming watched on our YouTube channel in 2013

  • 800+

    hours of programming made available on the Wing’s Online Archive, including conversations and interviews

  • 5,000

    video podcasts of Working in the Theatre downloaded monthly

  • 1,300+

    emerging artists and companies served in 2013, including Jonathan Larson® Grant recipients

  • $1.1 million

    spent for programs and services in 2013 that strengthen the industry

Our History

If a Tony is ever given to the longest-running service organization in the theatre, it will go to the American Theatre Wing.

On the eve of America’s entry into the first World War in 1917, seven ladies of theatre-Rachel Crothers, Louise Closser Hale, Dorothy Donnelly, Josephine Hull, Minnie Dupree, Bessie Tyree and Louise Drew-converged to discuss the possibility of forming an organization to aid in war relief. The Stage Women’s War Relief was born and began operation within the next few weeks. The organization raised more than seven million dollars and sewed countless articles of clothing for the troops. Through the vision and patriotism of the theatre community, the Stage Women’s War Relief became one of the most significant and active relief organizations in the world.

In January 1940, with another war brewing in Europe, Ms. Crothers picked up where the Stage Women’s War relief had left off, and along with Antoinette Perry, formed the American Theatre Wing. During World War II, the Wing sponsored fifty-four separate programs, in New York and around the world. The Wing established eight Stage Door Canteens throughout the United States as well as in London and Paris which entertained and served soldiers. With the money earned from the movie Stage Door Canteen, the Wing gave $75,000 to the USO to inaugurate legitimate drama as entertainment for soldiers overseas. The Victory Players, which also produced legitimate theatre, enlightened and inspired civilians on the home front. The weekly radio program “Stage Door Canteen” raised income and just as in the Great War, the Wing trained speakers to sell bonds. The “Lunchtime Follies,” a series of revues, entertained workers in defense plants, although lunch often occurred at midnight.

When the war ended, the Wing changed its focus to two purposes – to further the welfare of the theatre itself and to utilize the resources of the theatre in the service of the community. The Wing also dedicated itself to educating those who served the Allied Powers during the War and put into motion a plan to build the American Theatre Wing Professional School. To name all those who taught would be to list almost every distinguished name from theatre, television, the opera, and music. Among Wing students were: George Burns, Richard Chamberlin, Bob Fosse, Charlton Heston, Pat Hingle, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, Gordon MacRae, Russell Nype, Geraldine Page, Christopher Plummer, Tony Randall, Jason Robards, Jr., William Warfield and James Whitmore. At its peak, the school enrolled 1,200 students, many of them studying on their GI Bill of Rights. The school continued to fulfill its obligation to veterans until its close in 1965.

On June 28, 1946, one day shy of her 58th birthday, Antoinette Perry had a fatal heart attack. She had done so much to lead the Wing during its early years, and had done so much for the Broadway community as a whole, that Brock Pemberton proposed the Antoinette Perry Award be established in her honor to recognize achievement on Broadway. At the initial event in 1947, when he presented an award, he called it a Tony. After all this time, the American Theatre Wing is still presenting the Tony Awards in her honor and still utilizing the resources of the theatre to advance the art form of live theatre.

Press Releases

The American Theatre Wing Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

New York, NY (April 16, 2014) — National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that the American Theatre Wing is one of 886 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The American Theatre Wing is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support their SpringboardNYC and Theatre Intern Group programs.

American Theatre Wing’s 2014 Jonathan Larson Grants Recipients Announced

American Theatre Wing Announces New Appointments to its Board of Trustees & Advisory Committee

American Theatre Wing’s 2012 Gala Sets Record as Highest Grossing Gala in Wing History

American Theatre Wing Announces Recipients of 2012 National Theatre Company Grants

Five-Time Tony-Award Winning Costume Designer William Ivey Long to Succeed Ted Chapin as New Chair of The American Theatre Wing

ATW Staff

  • Heather A. Hitchens

    Executive Director
    212.765.0606 x341
  • Joanna Sheehan Bell

    Director of Programs
    212.765.0606 x311
  • Nicole Mitzel Gardner

    Director of Development
    212.765.0606 x302
  • Jeremiah Hernandez

    Development and Events Coordinator
    212.765.0606 x314
  • Megan Kolb

    Program Associate
    212.765.0606 x310
  • Rachel Schwartz

    Office Administrator
    212.765.0606 x301
  • Andy Snyder

    ATW Press Representative, O&M Co.
    212.695.7400
  • Jessica Ward

    Digital Media Assistant
    212.765.0606

Tony Awards Productions

  • Carl Levin

    Tony Awards® Business and Operations Manager
    646.626.5555
  • Jean Kroeper Murphy
    The Broadway League

    Manager, Tony Awards® Administration
    212.764.1122
  • Joanna Sheehan Bell
    American Theatre Wing

    Tony Awards Licensing and Clearances
    212.765.0606 x310
  • Leslie Dock
    The Broadway League

    Marketing Manager, Partnerships
    212.764.1122
  • Ben Pesner
    The Broadway League

    Content Producer, TonyAwards.com
    212.764.1122
  • Shawn Purdy
    Slate PR

    Tony Awards® Press Representative
    212.235.6813
  • Jan Svendsen
    The Broadway League

    Director Tony Awards® Marketing and Development
    212.764.1122

Contact Us

The American Theatre Wing welcomes your questions, opinions and concerns.

Support Us

For nearly a century the American Theatre Wing has been tirelessly committed to championing and celebrating American theatre. Our programs span the nation to inspire artists and audiences and nurture the entire theatre community. Your donation will: