These specials prizes are part of a slate of awards handed out beyond the Tonys’ usual roster of competitive trophies. The Tonys also hand out Tony Honors, for industry denizens whose work isn’t eligible for the usual awards, and an laurel trophy for regional theater, among others.
The NEA receives its Tony for the federal agency’s ongoing funding for the arts, education and access. According to the Broadway League, the NEA has helped fund a string of Tony winners, numbering 18 plays and 15 musicals so far.
Wilkins, meanwhile, gets the honor for his integral role in developing the market for touring Broadway productions around the country. He’s an original founder of Broadway Across America, and before that had stints at other players in the road market including Clear Channel Entertainment, SFX and PACE. He’s now the COO and executive vice president of Key Brand Entertainment, which has a portfolio that includes both Broadway Across America and Broadway.com.
The nominations for the competitive slate of 2016 Tony Awards are set to be announced in a May 3 event hosted by “The Book of Mormon” alums Nikki M. James and Andrew Rannells. The awards ceremony, hosted by James Corden, will be broadcast live on CBS June 12.