Tony Award

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The Tony Award (actually Antoinette Perry Award ) is an American theater and musical prize awarded annually since 1947 , which is considered the most important American prize of its kind, comparable to the Oscar (for films ), the Grammy (for music ) and the Emmy (for television ). The distinctive trophy with the silver medal has been around since 1949. All plays and musicals that have been played in a Broadway theater during the year can be nominated for the award named after Antoinette Perry . It is up to the Tony Awards Committee to determine which New York theater is considered "Broadway Theater".


The Tony Award is presented by around 700 jurors drawn from the entertainment industry and the press . In 1947 the award was established by the American Theater Wing (the American theater union). The first award ceremony was held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York . The award ceremony has been broadcast live on US television since 1967. Because of the public appeal, songs and scenes from the nominated musicals and plays have since been played live or presented via video feed.


At the Tony Awards, a play or musical is considered “new” if it has neither been a Broadway production nor is part of the “historical or general repertoire”. This sentence has caused controversy again and again because it is often the case that plays or musicals could not be nominated in the categories that are only open to new works (e.g. best play, best musical, best musical libretto) . Musicals that come to Broadway from Off-Broadway or the West End of London or that are based on film templates are, however, rated as "new".

To be nominated for the Tony Award, a show must have premiered within a specified period of time. For example, the deadline for a nomination for the 2008/2009 season is April 30, 2009. All pieces that premiered before that will be considered; From May 1, 2009, the piece will be added to the next season, so it can only be taken into account at the next award ceremony.

A “Broadway theater” is defined as a theater with more than 500 seats and a few other criteria. Since there is actually no geographical assignment, it is up to the Tony Award Committee to determine which New York theater is considered "Broadway theater". The 2007/08 list only includes theaters near Times Square and the theater in Lincoln Center .


The categories of 2015:

Prices for plays
category Award
Best play since 1947
Best recovery since 1994
Best Actor since 1947
Best main actress since 1947
Best supporting actor since 1949
The best supporting actress since 1947
Best theater direction since 1947
Best costume design since 1961 , again since 2005
Best stage design since 1960 , again since 2005
Best lighting design since 2005
Tony Honors for Excellence in Theater since 1990
Regional Theater Tony Award since 1948 , again since 1976
Prices for musicals
category Award
Best musical since 1949
Best musical libretto since 1949
Best original music since 1947
Best recovery since 1994
Best Actor since 1948
Best main actress since 1948
Best supporting actor since 1947
The best supporting actress since 1950
Best musical director since 1960
Best choreography since 1947
Best orchestration since 1997
Best costume design since 1961 , again since 2005
Best stage design since 1960 , again since 2005
Best lighting design since 2005
Former categories
category Period of award
Best costume design (play or musical) 1947-1960, 1962-2004
Best stage design (play or musical) 1947-1959, 1962-2004
Best director 1947-1959
Best offspring (only winners were June Lockhart and James Whitmore ) 1948
Best stage technology 1948-1963
Best conductor and music director 1948-1964
Best lighting design (play or musical) 1970-2005
Best revival (play or musical) 1977-1993
Best theater event 2001-2009
Best sound design (play) 2008-2014
Best sound design (musical) 2008-2014
Special prices
category Award
Special Tony Award since 1947


  • Play
    • most awards for a play: The Coast of Utopia (2007), 7 Tonys
    • most nominations for a play: The Coast of Utopia (2007) and Fences (2010), 10 nominations each
  • musical
    • most awards for a musical: The Producers (2001), 12 Tonys
    • most nominations for a musical: Hamilton (2016), 16 nominations
  • Resumption
  • people
    • most awards for one person: Harold Prince (theater director and producer), 21 Tonys
    • Most awards for an actor, a musical performer: Audra McDonald , 6 regular Tonys (she is also the only artist who could triumph in all four regular acting categories)
    • longest period between two nominations: Jane Fonda (1960 and 2009, 49 years in between)
    • an actor has been awarded twice for a role opposite to his gender; first Mary Martin in the role of Peter Pan (1955), then Harvey Fierstein as "Edna Turnblad" in Hairspray (2003).
    • six actors have so far received double nominations for two different plays in one year:
year Artist piece category result
1982 Amanda Plummer A taste of honey Best main actress Nominated
Agnes of God The best supporting actress Won
1984 Dana Ivey Heartbreak House The best supporting actress Nominated
Sunday in the Park with George Best Supporting Actress - Musical Nominated
2002 Kate Burton Hedda Gabler Best main actress Nominated
The Elephant Man The best supporting actress Nominated
2010 Jan Maxwell The Royal Family Best main actress Nominated
Lend me a tenor The best supporting actress Nominated
2014 Mark Rylance Richard III Best Actor Nominated
Twelfth Night Best supporting actor Won
2019 Jeremy Pope Choir Boy Best Actor Nominated
Ain't too proud Best Supporting Actor - Musical Nominated


While many visitors see the Tony Award as a theater Oscar and as a quality criterion, the theater press and criticism tend to disagree, as the Tony Award only considers plays that are played in one of the 41 "Broadway theaters". Plays and acting from " Off-Broadway " or " Off-Off-Broadway " are not included in the selection.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ruthie Fierberg: Jeremy Pope Becomes 6th Actor in Tony History Nominated in 2 Categories the Same Year . In:, April 30, 2019 (accessed May 2, 2020).