The annual special kudos, billed under the full name Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater, recognize legit industry individuals and organizations whose work isn’t eligible for the Broadway kudos’ annual round of competitive awards.
This year’s honorees include agent William Craver, stage production manager Peter Lawrence, the nonprofit Career Transition For Dancers, and North Carolina’s own historical drama “The Lost Colony.”
Honorees list is rounded out by “Lost Colony,” a 75-year-old production that plays every summer on Roanoke Island in Manteo, N.C. One of the last remaining Federal Theater Projects, the big-cast show is a symphonic drama inspired by the mysterious disappearance of English colonists from the area in the 16th century. Current production designer is Broadway costumer William Ivey Long, also the chair of the American Theater Wing, one of the orgs that co-presents the Tonys every year.
The Tony Honors are handed out at a private cocktail reception, set this year for June 8, just ahead of the full kudocast skedded to be broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Musical Hall June 9.
In 1937, The Lost Colony, Paul Green’s dramatic retelling of the founding and mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Island colony, opened to standing-room-only audiences and rave reviews. Since then, the beloved outdoor drama has played to more than 3 million people, and it is still going strong. Produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association at the Waterside Theater near Manteo, North Carolina, The Lost Colony has run for more than seventy summers almost without interruption. (Production was suspended during World War II, when the threat of German submarines prowling the coast made an extended blackout necessary.)
The model for modern outdoor theater, The Lost Colony combines song, dance, drama, special effects, and music to breathe life into shadowy legend. The latest edition of the play, published by UNC Press in 2001, is edited with an introduction by Laurence Avery.