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Tony Awards Announce 2013 Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Bernard GerstenBernard Gersten
Ming Cho LeeMing Cho Lee
Paul LibinPaul Libin

The Tony Awards® Administration Committee has announced this year’s recipients for the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.  This year’s awards will be presented to three giants of the American theatre:  Bernard “Bernie” Gersten, Executive Producer of Lincoln Center Theater; Scenic Designer Ming Cho Lee; and Paul Libin, Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theatres. 

The Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented at the 2013 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 9th. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Bernard Gersten: A Tony-winning Producer on and Off Broadway

Bernard Gersten has been the Executive Producer of Lincoln Center Theater since its re-establishment in 1985, in partnership with Gregory Mosher through 1991 and with André Bishop as Artistic Director since then.  Notable among Lincoln Center Theater's 153 productions of the last twenty-eight years:   Anything Goes, Sarafina!, Speed-the-Plow, The House of Blue Leaves, Carousel, The Heiress, Arcadia, The Light in the Piazza, The Coast of Utopia, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, War Horse, Other Desert Cities, Golden Boy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and The Nance.  For Public Broadcasting System, they have produced The House of Blue Leaves, Comedy of Errors, Our Town, Twelfth Night, Via Dolorosa, The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific.  Mr. Gersten was also Producer of the NBC documentary film Voices of Sarafina! 

From 1960 to 1978, he was the Associate Producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival for, among other works, including: A Chorus Line, Two Gentlemen of Verona, For Colored Girls…, That Championship Season, Much Ado About Nothing and Hair.  For the LCT and NYSF productions, Mr. Gersten received 14 Tony Awards for Best Play/Musical/Revival, as well as innumerable nominations, commendations and other awards. He was Executive Vice President of Zoetrope Studios, Executive Producer of Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart and Co-Producer of the live-orchestra presentations throughout the world of Abel Gance's Napoleon.  He also served as the Vice President of Radio City Music Hall and Executive Producer of Porgy and Bess and Ice.

Ming Cho Lee: Legendary Scenic Designer and Teacher

Ming Cho Lee is one of the foremost set designers in America today, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the highest national award given in the arts. His extensive credits include work in opera, dance, and theatre. Born in Shanghai, Mr. Lee has worked with many leading American dance companies, including Martha Graham, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Jose Limon, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. From 1962 through 1973, he was the principal designer for Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival. He has designed sets for opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. He has also designed for theatre groups including Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Manhattan Theatre Club, and for Broadway. He is a member of the board of the New 42nd Street

Internationally, Mr. Lee has designed productions for Covent Garden (London), Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Royal Danish Ballet, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (Taipei), the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and Buhnen Graz (Austria).

His numerous other awards and distinctions include a Tony Award, an Obie for sustained achievement, New York Drama Desk and New York and Los Angeles Outer Circle Critics Awards, three honorary doctorates, awards for long-term achievement from 6 major theatre and opera organizations, membership in the Theatre Hall of Fame, the Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture from New York City, and the recognition of many Chinese, Asian, and Immigrant organizations. His work has been shown in two separate retrospectives at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and in Taipei, Shanghai and Ningbo. As an architectural consultant, Mr. Lee designed theatres for Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the University of Cincinnati. He holds the Donald Oenslager Chair in Design and was formally the co-Chair of the design department at the Yale University School of Drama, where he is still teaching in his 44th year.

Paul Libin: Creating Landmark Theatre for more than 50 Years

Paul Libin began his professional career in the theatre as an actor.  Since then, he has worked as a director, lighting designer, technical director, stage manager, company manager, general manager, managing director, and producing director.  He produced his first play in New York in 1958 and, to date, more than 250 productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and on tour.  The recipient of many awards, including nine Tony Awards, Mr. Libin is also the former Chairman of The Broadway League and a member of the League’s Executive Committee, a member of the Tony Award Management Committee, the owner of The Circle in the Square Theatre and President of the Circle in the Square Theatre School.  He was the Producing Director of Circle in the Square Theatre for thirty years and served as President of the League of Off-Broadway Theatres for thirty years.  He is currently President of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a trustee of The Actors Fund, Actors' Equity Pension Fund, Treasurers' Pension Fund, an Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts at Columbia University and Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters.  In 2003 he was awarded the Eugene O'Neill Medallion and in 2004 he received the Eugene O'Neill Foundation Tao House Award.  He joined Jujamcyn in 1990 as Producing Director and Vice President.

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The 2013 Tony Award Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, April 30. The Tony Nominations can be viewed LIVE (8:30am ET) in their entirety here at www.TonyAwards.com. The Nominations Annoucement is sponsored by IBM, the webcast is courtesy NY1 News. Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced (Twitter.com/TheTonyAwards). The entire announcement will be viewable on TonyAwards.com following the live event.  

The 67th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Check back soon for more information.

Revised April 14, 2013

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