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Standing Ovation: 2016 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

April 14th, 2016

tonyThe Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced this year’s recipients of 2016 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.

The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories. This year’s Tony Honors will be presented to:

Seth Gelblum: Seth Gelblum is a Partner and Chair of the Theater department at Loeb & Loeb LLP. He practices in the live stage, motion picture, television and documentary film areas. His clients include producers, directors, playwrights, composers, performers, music publishers, designers and investors for Broadway, Off-Broadway, touring and foreign live stage productions, as well as theater owners, motion picture studios for live stage matters, not-for-profit theaters and licensing agencies.

In the course of his representation of producers, writers, directors and underlying rights holders involved in many of the most significant theatrical productions of the past 25 years, Gelblum has become recognized as one of the leading practitioners in the structuring of theatrical compensation and financing. He also represents writers and directors of motion pictures and television, documentary filmmakers and entertainment executives. Gelblum was listed in the top 100 of New York Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. He has served as Chairman of the Board for New Dramatists since 1999 and has been a long-term Board Member for the Canavan Foundation and Lawyers for Children.

An excerpt from Fun Home, winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Joan Lader: For more than 30 years, Joan Lader has provided vocal training and rehabilitation for those who use their voices professionally. Joan’s extensive practice includes leading performers from the worlds of Opera, Film, R&B, Rap, Rock and Pop, but more than any of these, the world of Broadway.

Her clients have won countless Tonys, Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and more, and while she has trained people whose names are above the title, she has trained innumerable performers in the chorus of just about every Broadway show in the last thirty years, as well. Joan Lader is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University, the Voice Foundation in Philadelphia, the Pacific Voice Foundation in San Francisco, NYSTA, Berklee College of Music and the Commercial Voice Conference at Vanderbilt University. She is currently a consultant for the New Studio at New York University and is proud to be involved with the National Young Arts Foundation, whose participants so often become the stars of tomorrow.

Sally Ann Parsons: Sally Ann Parsons and her husband, James Meares, founded Parsons-Meares in 1980 after working many years with the brilliant Ray Diffen. From squatting in an abandoned school building, the business grew to become one of the premier costume shops in New York City, producing costumes for, among others, Sophisticated LadiesCats, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express, Will Rogers Follies, Victor Victoria, Guys and Dolls, Wonderful Town, Kiss Me Kate, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Wicked, Spiderman – Turn Off the Dark, Aladdin, and most recently Hamilton. Since James’ death in 2008, Sally Ann has been the sole owner, often with more than 50 dressmakers, craftspeople and artists working on a single project. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of costume technology, she received the 2009 TDF Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.

Daveed Diggs (center) and the cast of 'Hamilton' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Daveed Diggs (center) and the cast of ‘Hamilton’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

“The Tony Awards have a long standing tradition of honoring the un-sung heroes of our community.  We are thrilled to present this year’s Honors to three incredible talents, from three very different areas of expertise,  who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to inspire what you see on the Broadway stage,” Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said.

These honors will be presented at the Tony Honors Cocktail Party, a private cocktail reception, on Monday, June 6 at the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe.

The American Theatre Wing’s 70th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Tony Award winner James Corden, will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 12, 2016 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

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