American Theater Wing Wants to Stop Selling Tony Medallions to Producers
According to The New York Times, the American Theater Wing, one of the lead organizations behind the Tony Awards, is proposing to stop selling Tony medallion trophies to investors who back Broadway shows.
"There is a real desire within the Wing to make sure the Tony medallion remains prestigious," playwright David Henry Hwang, board member for the Wing, told the Times. "It's important -- certainly to those of us who are artists -- that the Tony not be diluted by its widespread sale."
Tony Award Productions, which puts on the ceremony each year, said in a statement: "It's an issue with many sides that has been under discussion for years. The conversation continues but no action has been taken."
Right now, investors can purchase a Tony for $2,500 if their musicals or plays win in the four show categories; only two lead producers receive the awards free. The medallions bring in $300,000 or more each year for Tony Award Productions.
No final proposal has been reached, but whatever the decision, implementing it would need approval from the Wing and the Broadway League. If the motion passes, we likely won't see the results for a season or two.
Among the suggestions is a separate Tony award available for purchase, which would not look like the original medallion. The Times writes that Designer William Ivey Long (Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella) has sketched several possible options.
What do you think? Does the Tony medallion need protecting?