Theater fans are growing excited about the Tony Awards, but leaders of Actors’ Equity Association may not share their enthusiasm. The New York Post reported that the stage performers union is engaged in a dispute with the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League over the groups’ decision to grant a special Tony to “The Lost Colony,” which has run every summer since 1937 at the Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island, N.C. The show, a self-billed “symphonic pageant” about the lost colony of Roanoke Island, lists American Theatre Wing chairman William Ivey Long as its production designer.
According to the Post, Equity president Nick Wyman has written a letter of complaint to Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin, taking issue with the production’s employment of nonunion actors. St. Martin reportedly responded that Equity representatives were present at the meeting in which the decision was made to honor “The Lost Colony,” but Post columnist Michael Riedel claims that only one former Equity executive was present at the time, and that that person voted against granting the award.
Maria Somma, spokesperson for Equity, told Backstage via email, “Equity believes this is a situation best handled among the parties and not through comments in the media.”