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The Tony Awards- A Conversation with Eila Mell and Heather Hitchens

June 11 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

A conversation about “The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre” with Eila Mell and Heather Hitchens

The Drama Book Shop presents, in association with Jay Michaels Global Communications, “The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre” with Eila Mell and Heather A. Hitchens – A talkback, signing, and live podcast recording.

About the book

Commemorating over 75 years of Broadway greatness, “The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre” pays tribute to the magic that happens when the curtain goes up and Broadway’s best and brightest step onto center stage. Supported by the American Theatre Wing, the arts organization that founded the Tony Awards in 1947 and continues to produce the Tony Awards live telecast each year, author Eila Mell has interviewed a cavalcade of past and present Tony winners, including actors, producers, writers, costume designers, and many, many others. Their voices fill the pages of this book with fascinating, behind-the-scenes stories about what it’s like to win the theatre world’s highest honor.

Featuring a foreword by Audra McDonald and over 400 color and black-and-white photographs, “The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre” also spotlights more than 130 captivating interviews with a parade of industry insiders, including: Mel Brooks, Matthew Broderick, Carol Burnett, Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close, James Corden, Bryan Cranston, Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Holliday, Hugh Jackman, John Kander, Angela Lansbury, Judith Light, Hal Linden, Kenny Leon, Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Martin Short, Tom Stoppard, Julie Taymor, Leslie Uggams, and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

About the authors:

Eila Mell is the author of Designing Broadway as well as the official guide to the hit television series Project Runaway, titled Project Runway: The Show That Changed Fashion. Among her other books are New York Fashion Week and, with Ty Hunter, Makeover from Within: Lessons in Hardship, Acceptance, and Self-Discovery. Mell has been featured in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Glamour, and CBS’s The Insider, as well as in the documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s. She is the co- host of the podcast Jiffy Pop Culture with comedian Frank Liotti.

The American Theatre Wing is a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting excellence and education in theatre. Founded in 1917 by seven suffragists, in addition to the yearly Tony Awards, the American Theatre Wing invests in brave work, supports creative growth, and celebrates excellence from those who bring inclusive stories to our national culture through theatre.

About the Moderator

Heather A. Hitchens is a nationally recognized arts leader with nearly 30 years of performing arts administration, policy, and program development experience. Hitchens currently serves as President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing (ATW). As CEO, she is charged with maintaining its brand of excellence in the Tony Awards (founded by ATW in 1947) as well as overseeing and shaping the ATW’s other vital grant making, professional development, educational, and media programs. Since starting her work at ATW in 2011, she has tripled the Organization’s budget, and overseen an expansion of its programs that has resulted in a more than triple increase in the Organization’s investment in programs.

Highlights include bringing the OBIE Awards into the Wing’s portfolio ensuring Off and Off-Off Broadway are recognized for the crucial role they play in the theatre ecology, and creating and launching the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, a multi-tiered initiative to advance diversity in the theatre. In addition, Hitchens reconceived ATW’s much beloved “Working in the Theatre” public access television show into a thrice Emmy Nominated docu-series.

A seasoned leader, ATW is Hitchens’ fourth CEO post. Prior to ATW, Hitchens was appointed by the Governor of the State of New York to serve as Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) where she oversaw the distribution of over $123 million in grants to more than 2,000 New York State arts organizations in every artistic discipline. She also fostered closer collaboration and partnerships between the arts and other sectors including tourism, economic development, and parks, and in collaboration with a number of private and public funding sources, launched the New York State Cultural Data Project, which developed more comprehensive and reliable data about the impact of the arts in the state. Prior to her leadership at NYSCA, Hitchens served as the President of the renowned national service organization Meet The Composer for nearly a decade where she revitalized the Organization’s programming and strengthened its financial standing. Hitchens also served as CEO of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and worked in the development department of the American Music Theatre Festival.

Hitchens is on the faculty of Baruch College’s M.A. in Arts in Administration Program where she teaches Cultural Policy, and is a trustee of the Actor’s Fund. Hitchens holds a M.S. in Arts Administration from Drexel University and a B.M. in Percussion/Music Business from DePauw University.

About the event

We kindly ask that you review the following information before reserving your spot:

This Eventbrite ticket is your reservation for the event.

Please note that the purchase of a book from the “The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre” ($55.00) or a $15.00 ticket is required for entry.

Upon arrival, our team will direct you to the register to obtain your copy and complete your admission.

The store will begin welcoming guests at 7:15 pm.

Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at rsvp@dramabookshop.com.


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