About the Wing

2015 Tony Awards hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming
2015 Tony Awards hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming
2015 Annual Gala Honoring James Earl Jones

2015 Annual Gala Honoring James Earl Jones

2015 Annual Gala Honoring James Earl Jones
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 2015

  • 1,274,479

    views of our educational video programming on the Media Archive

  • 101%

    increase in total views on YouTube from 2014

  • 37

    artists and companies recognized at the 2015 Tony Awards®

  • 40

    artists and companies recognized at the 2015 Obie Awards®

  • 1,950+

    emerging artists and companies served, including Jonathan Larson® Grants and National Theatre Company Grants recipients

  • 100%

    of SpringboardNYC students in need received tuition discounts, including 7 full scholarships

  • 100%

    of Theatre Intern Network members surveyed in May 2015 reported that they will recommend the program to others

  • 1.5 million

    spent on programs and services that strengthen theatre

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

David Henry Hwang to Succeed William Ivey Long as Chair of the American Theatre Wing

American Theatre Wing Announces The Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative

Winners Announced for the 61st Annual Obie Awards

American Theatre Wing's "Working in the Theatre" Video Series Nominated for 2016 Webby Awards

ATW Staff

  • Heather A. Hitchens

    President & CEO
    212.765.0606 x100
  • Joanna Sheehan Bell

    Director of Programs
    212.765.0606 x300
  • Nicole Mitzel Gardner

    Director of Development
    212.765.0606 x200
  • Jeremiah Hernandez

    Development and Events Coordinator
    212.765.0606 x201
  • Megan Kolb

    Program Associate
    212.765.0606 x301
  • Rachel Schwartz

    Office Administrator
    212.765.0606 x101
  • Andy Snyder

    ATW Press Representative, DKC/O&M
    212.695.7400
  • Jessica Ward

    Digital Media Assistant
    212.765.0606
  • Ian Weiss

    Director of Digital Strategy
    212.765.0606 x400

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
  • Christine Giordano
    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: