One hundred years ago, America was steeped in the first globally driven war. Americans rallied around its troops, doing what they could to aid in resources. For the first time since its birth, America was embroiled in a skirmish that would take millions of lives around the world. The Great War (or World War I) was taking American lives and morale, and the arts community wanted to help.
That’s when the ladies of Broadway stepped in. Rachel Crothers, Louise Closser Hale, Dorothy Donnelly, Josephine Hull, Minnie Dupree, Elizabeth Tyree and Louise Drew were all heavily involved in the theatre scene, and they came together in 1917 to discuss how they could aid in the war efforts. They formed The Stage Women’s War Relief, collecting and creating resources plus sending performers to entertain the troops.
1939 brought Antoinette Perry – whom the Tony Awards are named after – and a number of other influential theater personalities to the organization. It re-established itself as the American Theatre Wing and continued the mission of aiding in war efforts (this time in World War II). The ATW helped servicemen return home and transition into their lives as veterans, as well as providing entertainment for the troops.
Since its establishment, the American Theatre Wing has devoted itself to arts and theatre education around the country. It has aided in the cultivation of new theater from emerging artists, created a network for theatre interns, and inspired countless performers around the country.
BroadwayHD is thrilled and honored to be capturing the American Theatre Wing Gala tonight, which will be available to stream in 2018. The biggest stars of Broadway will be performing iconic songs from the past 100 years, including Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Beth Malone, and Laura Osnes, plus more. You don’t want to miss this exciting event, and we’ll also be live tweeting from the red carpet.
Check out highlights from last year’s concert to get an idea of the amazing show we’re all in for.
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