The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® Presented By:
Presented By:

The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced today that Jack O’Brien and George C. Wolfe will each receive the 2024 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

“Honoring these two gentlemen for their outstanding achievements and contributions to theatre is not only a recognition of their innate talent and dedication, but to a lifetime of brilliant work. With credits such as ‘Hairspray’ and ‘The Invention of Love,’ Jack O’Brien has showcased astounding diversity, skill and passion throughout his esteemed career,” said Jason Laks, interim president of The Broadway League. “In his role as Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre for 25 years, he also leaves a lasting legacy of strengthening the relationship between the commercial and nonprofit worlds."

“Both of our honorees have shown a true commitment to the craft that has led to remarkable success across their deeply applauded breadth of work. George C. Wolfe’s stellar contributions as a playwright, director, producer and artistic director, including his unforgettable direction in productions like ‘Angels in America: Millennium Approaches’ and ‘Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk,’ have left a lasting impression on audiences,” said Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing. “Beyond his tremendous dedication to storytelling, he has shown an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout his illustrious career that has shifted culture and elevated the theatre community.”

Director Jack O’Brien was recently nominated for a Tony Award for his direction of the new musical, “Shucked.” He has also won three Tony Awards for his direction of “Hairspray,” “Henry IV,” and “The Coast of Utopia.” Other Broadway credits include Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” “Carousel,” “The Front Page,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “It’s Only a Play,” “Macbeth,” “The Nance,” “Dead Accounts,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Impressionism,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (Tony Award nomination), “Imaginary Friends,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Invention of Love” (Tony Award nomination and Drama Desk winner), “The Full Monty” (Tony Award nomination), “More to Love,” “Getting Away with Murder,” “The Little Foxes,” “Damn Yankees,” “Two Shakespearean Actors” (Tony Award nomination), and “Porgy and Bess” (Tony Award nomination).

O’Brien’s off-Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem,” “Pride’s Crossing,” and “Hapgood” (Lucille Lortel Award). Other productions include “Il Trittico” at the Metropolitan Opera, “Guys and Dolls” at Carnegie Hall, and “Much Ado About Nothing” for The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park. Recent National and International tours include Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” and “Hairspray.” In London, “Love Never Dies,” “His Girl Friday,” and “Hairspray” (Olivier nomination), which also saw a revival at London’s West End Coliseum. Mr. O’Brien was the Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre from 1981 to 2007, and directed six programs for PBS’s “American Playhouse.” He is the author of two memoirs, “Jack Be Nimble” and “Jack in the Box, or How to Goddam Direct,” both published by Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux. He lives in Connecticut with an exceptional Norwich Terrier named Coda.

Writer, director and producer George C. Wolfe’s expansive career has earned him 23 Tony Awards, winning five, including Best Direction of a Play for “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” and Best Direction of a Musical for “Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk.” Additionally, Wolfe was the Producer of The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival from 1993-2005, directed/adapted “Spunk” (Obie), and created “Harlem Song” for the Apollo Theatre. Wolfe’s work outside of theatre includes directing and co-writing the HBO film "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Lackawanna Blues,” for which he earned The Directors Guild Award, a National Board of Review Award, a Christopher Award, and the Humanitas Prize. For Netflix, he directed “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,” which was nominated for five Academy Awards, and most recently “Rustin” (Gotham Award).

Wolfe is also the Chief Creative Officer of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and from 2009-2017 served on The President's Committee for the Arts and The Humanities. Additional awards include the PEN Mike Nichols Writing Performance Award, Actors Equity Paul Robeson Award, Society of Directors and Choreographers Mr. Abbott and Callaway Awards, The Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, The New Dramatists Outstanding Career Achievement Award, The NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, The Lambda Liberty Award, The Spirit of the City Award, The Brendan Gil Prize, The Distinguished Alumni Award from NYU, a Princess Grace Award, The Monte Cristo Award, and was inducted in the Theatre Hall of Fame. Wolfe was named a Library Lion by the New York Public Library and a living landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.