NEW YORK CITY: The Tony Awards Administration Committee has named TheatreWorks Silicon Valley as the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award. The award, which comes with a $25,000 grant, will be presented to the theatre at the Tony Awards ceremony on June 9 at Radio City Music Hall.
“We are thrilled to present the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement. “The work they produce celebrates the human spirit, they have helped develop hundreds of vibrant new plays and musicals that are now being performed in theaters across America, and they have pioneered education programs that inspire thousands of students each year, creating future generations of creative artists and enthusiastic audiences.”
Founded in 1970 in Palo Alto, Calif., TheatreWorks Silicon Valley now presents eight plays per season: five at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts in Mountain View, California and three at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. The Equity/LORT theatre develops and produces new musicals and plays. To date TheatreWorks has presented 69 world premiere productions and 167 regional premieres. The company’s annual New Works Festival and Writers’ Retreat programs provide support for artists to create new works. Some of the program’s artists have included Rajiv Joseph, Stephen Schwartz, Beth Henley, Paul Gordon, Marsha Norman, Henry Krieger, Duncan Sheik, Jules Feiffer, Joe DiPietro, and Andrew Lippa, among many others. The company has developed scores of works which have gone on to be produced regionally and on Broadway. Notably, the Best Musical Tony Award and Olivier Award-winning Memphis was first workshopped and received its world premiere at TheatreWorks.
“I am deeply honored to accept the Regional Theatre Tony Award for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley,” said Robert Kelley, the company’s founding artistic director, in a statement. Kelley founded the company as a Stanford University student and will depart in 2020 after 50 years at the helm. “I can think of no better way to begin TheatreWorks’s 50th anniversary season than with this highest honor, a testament to the passion and imaginative spirit of the artists whose work has been presented on TheatreWorks’s stages. There is a joy here, a warmth to the creative process that many have found inspiring. For me, that joy has been worth a lifetime. We dedicate this award to the many thousands of brilliant theatre artists and fiercely committed staff, trustees, and community supporters who have shared our work for half a century.”