Cleveland Playhouse, which is heading into its 100th season in 2015-16, will take home the 2015 Regional Theater Tony Award.
The regional Tony, presented every year during the Tony Awards, have long honored theater companies outside of New York whose work isn’t regularly eligible for the Broadway-centric competitive awards. Recently the Tony organizers decided to consider Off Broadway eligible for the trophy, too; last year it went to Signature Theater.
Cleveland Playhouse prides itself on being a longtime champion for new work, having presented Tennesee Williams before “The Glass Menagerie” and, more recently, premiering titles by Ken Ludwig, Lee Blessing and Deborah Zoe Laufer. Pulitzer winner Quiara Alegria Hudes is working on a commission for the company that will bow next season.
The regional theater Tony winner was named hot on the heels of the Tony administration committee’s decisions on category eligibility for the season’s potential nominees. The rulings to come out of that meeting, the fourth and final such meeting held during the season, held few surprises.
Among the more noteworthy rulings: Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, on whose novels “Wolf Hall” is based, will be eligible for the best play Tony alongside adaptor Mike Poulton; and Beth Malone, one of the three actresses to play the protagonist of “Fun Home” at different stages of the characters’ life, will be eligible as a lead actress while the two younger actresses in the role will be considered featured. (So will Judy Kuhn, who portrays the character’s mother in the show.)
Nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards will be announced April 28 by Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis, both of whom are on tap to appear in the New York theater productions next year.