The Tony Award nominess were announced Tuesday, and with that announcement came the news that Signature Theatre has been awarded the 2009 Regional Theater Tony Award.
The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, presenters of the awards, stated, For 20 years, Signature has broadened and brightened the regions cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works.[Signature] has established a national reputation for giving some of the nations most talented artists a place to do their best work before appreciative, knowledgeable audiences.
The award is given annually to one of the nations leading regional theaters and comes with a $25,000 prize from VISA, USA.
Signature Theatre co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer said, Were thrilled to bring a Tony Award to Washington, this great theatre town. We share it with all the artists, donors, and audience members who continue to support our work. Its been an amazing week with The Sondheim Award, our world premiere of Giant, and now a Tony Award it doesnt get better than this!
Signatures board chair Sarah Valente added, Over the past 20 years, Signature has meant so much to so many artists and its been very exciting to watch Washington audiences marvel over what Eric Schaeffer has been able to create in this sandbox that is Signature Theatre.
Under the leadership of Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature Theatre is a nonprofit professional theater company dedicated to producing contemporary plays and musicals, reinventing classic shows, and developing new work. In the 19 years since the theatre was founded, Signature has presented more than 25 world premiere productions and has become renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces. In addition to the finest talent from the Washington area and New York, Signature has been a home to such theater luminaries as John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the companys signature, Stephen Sondheim. Signature has received 276 Helen Hayes Award nominations and 69 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in Washington area professional theater.
In the 2007-2008 season, Signature celebrated the work of John Kander and Fred Ebb in a festival that included their musicals Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Happy Time, and their last project The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and George Hearn. This season Signature received national attention for its highly successful, revamped version of Les Misrables.
Signature will celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year with a roster that includes Dirty Blonde, Show Boat, I Am My Own Wife, Sweeney Todd, [title of show], and Sycamore Trees.