New Dramatists Will Honor Tony Kushner And Jeanine Tesori At Spring Luncheon

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New Dramatists Will Honor Tony Kushner And Jeanine Tesori At Spring Luncheon

New Dramatists will honor Tony Award winners, Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori with its 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award at its 71st Annual Spring Luncheon Tribute on Thursday, May 21st at the New York Marriott Marquis.

"Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori are two of the most gifted and revered theatre artists of their generation," says Emily Morse, Artistic Director of New Dramatists. "Through decades of commitment to their art and craft, groundbreaking storytelling, and deep collaborations with other brilliant theatre artists, both Kushner and Tesori have had a transformative effect on the American theatre, and all of us who have been fortunate to sit in their audience are grateful. While we will celebrate their stellar careers at this year's Luncheon, we also wish to shine a spotlight on the importance of collaboration, and their inspired collaboration that is so beautifully and powerfully demonstrated in their musical, Caroline, or Change."

Kushner and Tesori will be represented on Broadway this spring with the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Caroline, or Change.

Tony Kushner's plays include Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia On National Themes; Homebody/Kabul; and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. His first play, A Bright Room Called Day, returned to The Public Theater fall 2019, and his adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Visit is currently playing at the National Theater in London. He wrote the screenplay for Mike Nichols's film version of Angels In America, and the screenplays for Steven Spielberg's films Munich, Lincoln and West Side Story, opening late 2020. Among other honors, in 2012 he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

Jeanine Tesori has written a diverse catalog for Broadway, Opera, film and television. Along with Missy Mazzoli, Ms. Tesori is one of the first female composers commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. Her musicals include: Fun Home (Tony Award, Pulitzer finalist); Caroline, or Change (Olivier Award); Violet; Shrek; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Twelfth Night; A Free Man of Color; Mother Courage (starring Meryl Streep); Soft Power. Her Operas include: Blue (Libretto, Tazewell Thompson); A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (Tony Kushner); The Lion, The Unicorn and Me (J.D. McClatchy); as well as the upcoming Grounded (George Brant). She is the founding artistic director of New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center Series. After producing four seasons of Off-Center concerts, she took one of those concerts, Sunday in the Park with George (starring Jake Gyllenhaal), to Broadway where she produced the 2017 revival, with ATG and Riva Marker. Sunday in the Park with George will open on the West End in the spring of 2020. Film: Supervising Vocal Producer for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story. In addition to her work as a composer, she is the founding creative director of A BroaderWay, an arts empowerment program for young women, and lectures at universities around the country. Her daughter, Siena, is a senior at Brown University.

Each year, New Dramatists salutes individuals who have made an outstanding artistic contribution to the theatre community. Past luncheon honorees include Nathan Lane, Denzel Washington, Daryl Roth and Paula Vogel, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Susan Stroman, Seth Gelblum, Bernadette Peters, Roger Berlind, Julie Taymor, Horton Foote, Edward Albee, Harvey Fierstein, Chita Rivera, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Jerry Herman, Terrence McNally, Barbara Cook, John Kander & Fred Ebb, August Wilson, and Gwen Verdon.

The luncheon will take place at the New York Marriott Marquis (1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets) on Thursday May 21st beginning with a champagne reception at 11:15AM and ending promptly at 2:30PM. Tickets are $350 (a portion of which is tax-deductible). For tickets, visit or contact New Dramatists' director of development, Tiffany Baran, at or (212) 757-6960.


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