Fred Gallo, Irene Gandy, Beverly Jenkins and the New Federal Theater to receive 2020 Tony Honors
The Tony Awards Administration Committee has just announced that it will be presenting the 2020 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater to four outstanding contributors from the Broadway industry: Fred Gallo, President of PRG Scenic Technologies; Broadway press secretary Irene Gandy; director Beverly Jenkins and New Federal Theater, Woodie King, founder of Jr.
The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and / or organizations who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theater, but are not eligible in any of the Tony’s established categories. Awards.
“We are delighted to recognize these deserving individuals and organizations with Tony Honors this year,” said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theater Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “The New Federal Theater, Fred Gallo, Irene Gandy and Beverly Jenkins have made immeasurable contributions to the theater community, and their impact will be felt for years to come. We couldn’t think of a more deserving group of award winners, and we are proud to recognize their many accomplishments! ”
Fred Gallo grew up in a well-known family of Broadway stagehands and began building sets from a young age. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering, he started working at Feller Scenery, then one of the leading stores in the industry. Fred has worked as a Local One stagehand and production carpenter on numerous Broadway shows. Later, Fred co-founded Scenic Technologies, leading to the formation of PRG. Since then, PRG has grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of sets and automation for theatrical productions. Fred has overseen the construction and engineering design of countless stage projects. For the past 40 years, Fred has been associated with productions such as Beatlemania; Frankenstein; Pygmalion; The Phantom of the Opera; Miss Saigon; The Who is Tommy; The beauty and the Beast; The producers; Bad; Sweet charity; Wretched; Shrek, Promises, Promises; Wonderful; Come from afar; King Kong and dozens of other productions. Fred has also been the technical director of some of Broadway’s toughest shows: Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, King Kong, and the Phantom of the Opera World Tour. Fred holds patents for the theatrical equipment he designed and frequently serves as a consultant on theatrical rigging systems engineering for theaters around the world. Over the past 12 years, he has designed the refurbishment of more than 135 theaters to enable them to present large-scale and technically sophisticated productions. He received the Backstage Legends and Masters Award in 2014.
Irene Gandy is the only black woman press attaché member of ATPAM (Association of Attachés et Responsables de Presse Théâtre) for more than 50 years. Working with producer Jeffrey Richards for over three decades, she is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and was a producer for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra MacDonald. She was also co-producer with Voza Rivers of the South African musical Sarafina national tour. In 2008, she became the first female press secretary to be immortalized in a cartoon by Sardi. A fashionista known for her furs, in 2015 she launched a signature collection featured in Vogue magazine and will launch a Lady Irene Fur line in 2022. Gandy’s recent productions include The Great Society, American Son, China Doll, Fiddler on the Roof and you. I can’t take it with you. She began her career in 1968 as a publicist with Douglas Turner Ward and Robert Hooks’ Negro Ensemble Company. Since then, she has worked on over 100 Broadway shows, including August: Osage County, Glengarry Glen Ross, Radio Golf, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Lena Horne: The Lady and her Music and The Wiz. In addition to her theater work, she was Associate Director of Special Markets for CBS Records, working with artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, The Jacksons, Labelle, and more. His personal musical clients include Freddie Jackson and Nona Hendryx. Gandy is a press consultant for Harlem Week, recipient of the 1997 Woman of Excellence Award from the National Action Network, the 2007 Vanguard Award from Black to Broadway Productions, the 2004 Black Public Relations Society Award, the 2013 Inspire Award in New York ”, 2015 Pioneer Award for BLACK PRIDE NYC and the 2015“ Salute Her ”“ Media Legend Award ”from Café Mocha. Other awards: Project 1 Voice Lifetime Achievement for outstanding achievement and a vision of artistic excellence in American theater; HARLEM WEEK Vivian Robinson Arts and Culture; and “Life Changers” presented by WNBA players Teresa Weatherspoon and Rita Haywood for inspiring, transforming and empowering others. In 2018, she was honored with the Vivian Robinson / AUDELCO “Prioneer Award” for recognition awards for excellence in black theater. In 2019, she received the NAACP-LGBQT David Weaver Prize for Excellence in the Arts. 2020 Gandy was inducted into the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Public Library in New York City as part of the League of Professional Theater Women’s Oral History Project. She currently sits on the boards of the City College for the Arts, Harlem Week, and the New Heritage Theater.
Beverly Jenkins has been a professional director for over 30 years. She is currently the production manager for the best Tony Award winning musical Hadestown. A Howard University graduate, Ms. Jenkins made her Broadway debut as a production assistant on Five Guys Named Moe and eventually became the assistant manager. She has since directed numerous Broadway shows; his credits include A Bronx Tale: The Musical, Fully Committed, Amazing Grace, Living On Love, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Machinal, Godspell, Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo, In the Heights, Shrek: The Musical, Avenue Q, Aida , Sweet Charity, Oklahoma !, The Lion King, Bring In Da Noise / Bring In Da Funk and Miss Saigon, as well as many other productions. She worked with the Roundabout Theater Company on Bad Jews and If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet and at Paper Mill Playhouse for the regional broadcast of A Bronx Tale. During her career in theater management, Ms. Jenkins served as Production Supervisor for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and A Bronx Tale, Company Leader at The Negro Ensemble Company and Executive Assistant at Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop. When she was the producer of the AUDELCO Awards, she had the pleasure of working closely with the founder of the organization, Vivian E. Robinson. She toured Europe with Jubilation! Dance Company and has managed many special events and benefits. Beverly was the Executive Director of the Black Rock Coalition and taught at several universities, including the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, and taught at the Yale School of Drama. Ms. Jenkins is a board member of Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS and co-founder of Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color.
The mission of the New Federal Theater is to integrate artists of color and women into mainstream American theater by training artists for the profession and presenting plays by writers of color and women to an integrated and multicultural audience. – pieces that evoke the truth through beautiful and artistic recreations of ourselves. The New Federal Theater (NFT), founded by Woodie King, Jr. in 1970, is an extension of a theater program called Youth Mobilization. This professional neighborhood theater was originally funded by the Henry Street Settlement with a small grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. The theater’s first season premiered in the basement of St. Augustine’s Church on Henry Street. Several early successes made NFT nationally known: JE Franklin’s Black Girl won a Drama Desk Award; Ed Bullins’ The Taking of Miss Janie moved from NFT to Lincoln Center and won the Drama Critics Circle Award; For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange performed on Broadway for 10 months and was nominated for the Best Play Tony Award® before embarking on a three-year nationwide tour. It was then performed in the region and around the world, and was relaunched off Broadway in 2019. For Colored Girls … and The Taking of Miss Janie were co-produced with the late Joseph Papp. Many artists benefited from early successes on the NFT scene, including the late Chadwick Boseman, Debbie Allen, Morgan Freeman, Phylicia Rashad, Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Issa Rae and many more. NFT focused on producing new works, often by young playwrights. Numerous plays premiered at the NFT established the reputation of playwrights who achieved greater success later in their careers. For example, Charles Fuller created two pieces at NFT, In My Many Names and Days and The Candidate. He would later win the Pulitzer Prize for a soldier’s coin. David Henry Hwang created The Dance and the Railroad at NFT and went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play for Mr. Butterfly.
The Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, will host a multiplatform celebration on Sunday, September 26, starting with the presentation of the American Theater Wing’s 74th Annual Tony Awards LIVE at 7 p.m. ET / 4: 00 PM PT exclusively on Paramount +, followed by “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” on the CBS TV network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount + and the CBS app.