Shubert Organization chairman Philip J. Smith and playwright Athol Fugard are set to receive special Tony Awards for lifetime achievement at this year’s ceremony.
Also during the kudofest, Eve Ensler (“The Vagina Monologues”) will take home an award for volunteer efforts toward humanitarian or charitable causes. Snagging Tony Honors — laurels handed out to legiters whose work is not eligible in the usual round of competitive categories — are animal trainer Bill Berloni; Gotham institution the Drama Bookshop; and Sharon Jensen and the diversity-promoting Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts.
Smith, a 50-year vet of Gotham theater owner the Shubert Org, has been chair of the company since 2008, following a 12-year stint as prexy. His activities also include work with the Broadway League, the Tony Awards Administration Committee, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Actors Fund.
South African scribe-helmer-actor Fugard, probably the most prominent playwright to chronicle life under apartheid and after it, has penned plays including “Master Harold … and the Boys,” “Blood Knot,” “Sizwe Banzi Is Dead” and “My Children! My Africa!”
Ensler receives the charitable causes-focused Isabelle Stevenson Award for her work as founder and a.d. of global activist movement V-Day, dedicated to stopping violence against women and girls.
All kudos will be presented at the June 12 ceremony, to be held at Gotham’s Beacon Theater and aired live on CBS.