The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced the four recipients of the 2019 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.
The honorary Tony Awards will be given to Broadway Inspirational Voices, a choir composed of Broadway artists; Peter Entin, former vice president of theatre operations for the Shubert Organization; Joseph Blakely Forbes, founder and president of Scenic Art Studios, Inc. and FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9.
The awards are given to those who have demonstrated “extraordinary achievement” in the theater, but are not eligible for other Tony Award categories.
Broadway Inspirational Voices, founded by Michael McElroy in 1994, became a 501(c)3 organization in 2010, with the goal of inspiring and helping underprivileged youth. The Grammy-nominated choir has performed with artists including Mariah Carey, Elton John and on the Tony Awards telecast.
Entin started his career at the Shubert Organization in 1974, ascending to the position of vice president of theatre operations, which he held until his retirement in June 2017. He managed 17 Broadway theaters as well as Shubert theaters across the country, in addition to serving on the boards of non-profit arts organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Actors Fund.
Forbes founded Scenic Art Studios Inc., which paints scenery and creates backdrops and sculptures for Broadway productions, in 1994. Since then, the company has created work for more than 350 Broadway productions including “Book of Mormon,” “Hello, Dolly!” “Beetlejuice” and “Beautiful.” Forbes is also the founder of the not-for-profit school, Studio and Forum of Scenic Arts in 2004, which teaches the art of scenic painting.
FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, located on 8th Avenue between 48th and 49th Street, conducts fire inspections in all Broadway theaters. The fire station lost 15 firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001, which is the most of any firehouse in the city.