American Theatre Wing

American Theatre Wing

The American Theatre Wing (the "Wing" for short; originally part of the WWII Allied Relief Fund) is a New York City-based organization "dedicated to supporting excellence and education in theatre," according to its mission statement. ATW created and sponsors the prestigious Tony Awards in theatrical arts.

In 1939, a group of theatrical women led by Rachel Crothers and Antoinette Perry founded the organization in Manhattan. All were active in Broadway theater, as patrons or actors or both, and many had supported the Stage Women's War Relief Fund, an earlier effort. With the entry of the United States into World War II, the Wing established the Stage Door Canteen to entertain American servicemen.

With the close of the war, the Wing concentrated on holding seminars about American theater, and on funding numerous scholarship grants. It sponsored the First American Congress of Theatre (FACT) in 1974, and is best known as creator and owner of "The American Theatre Wing's Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre" -- the Tony Awards -- named for its co-founder and wartime Chair.

The initial presentation of its Tony Awards program on radio and television was broadcast only locally in New York City. In 1967, it partnered with the League of New York Theatre and Producers, now called The Broadway League, to present them on nationwide network television.

Besides the Tonys, ATW operates an array of programs to support its goals, including:
* The long-running "Working In The Theatre" series of televised seminars with top practitioners in the field;
* Downstage Center, a weekly radio theatrical interview show on XM Satellite Radio;
* A free audio and video archive of theatrical seminars and discussions at;
* Theatre Company Grants, awarding some 50 grants annually to New York not-for-profit theater companies;
* The annual ATW Henry Hewes Awards for achievement in theatrical design in New York City;
* The Jonathan Larson Grants, support and recognition for emerging musical theatre writers;
* SpringboardNYC, a two-week, college-to-career arts "boot camp";
* Theatre Intern Group, a networking and professional development group for young people who work in theatrical offices.

External links

* [ American Theatre Wing website]

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