Alumnus playwright takes a top prize at 2010 Tony Awards

June 15, 2010

John Logan accepts the Tony Award for Best Play during the 61st Tony Awards, Sunday, June 13, in New York. AP Photo/Richard Drew

John Logan accepts the Tony Award for Best Play during the 61st Tony Awards, Sunday, June 13, in New York. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Red, a play by School of Communication alumnus John Logan (C83), took home the Tony Award® for Best Play June 13.

Logan's play — about a clash between abstract artist Mark Rothko and his assistant — was a big winner in the 2010 Tony Awards. The play and its cast and crew won six awards out of seven nominations, including best featured actor, director, lighting design, scenic design, and sound design in addition to best play.

Among the producers of Red were two more members of the Northwestern community, Ruth Hendel (GC75) and Barbara Whitman, a friend of the school.

Among the other alumni and friends the school is celebrating are

  • Ken and Marleen Alhadeff, friends of the university, for their roles as producers of Memphis, winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
  • Kate Baldwin (C97), nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Finian's Rainbow.
  • Alumni Ana Gasteyer (C89) and Tony Roberts (C61) for their starring roles in The Royal Family, nominated for Best Revival of a Play.
  • Ruth Hendel (GC75) and her husband, Stephen Hendel, for their roles as producers of Fela!, winner of three Tony Awards.
  • Sheryl Kaller, director of the Northwestern University American Music Theatre Project 2008 Production of Dangerous Beauty, for Best Direction of a Play for Next Fall.
  • Andrew Lippa, composer of the Northwestern University American Music Theatre Project 2006 Production of Asphalt Beach, for Best Original Score for The Addams Family.

"This is the moment of my lifetime," Logan said during his acceptance, noting that it had taken 30 years to win the Tony from when he wrote his first play.

John Logan began his career in the Chicago off-Loop theatre scene and remains a member of the Victory Gardens Theater ensemble. He has written 14 plays including Never the Sinner, Hauptmann: Speaking in Tongues, Scorched Earth, and Riverview. Logan's work as a screenwriter includes Sweeney Todd (Golden Globe award), The Aviator (Oscar, Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America nominations), Gladiator (Oscar, Golden Globe and WGA nominations), The Last Samurai, Any Given Sunday, and RKO 281 (WGA award, Emmy nomination). Logan studied theatre at Northwestern.

The Tony Awards® got their start in 1947 when the American Theatre Wing (ATW) established an awards program to celebrate excellence in the theatre. The Tony Award was Named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the leader of the ATW who had recently passed away. The Awards are now presented by ATW and The Broadway League.

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