This year’s pre-telecast portion of the Tony Awards on June 9 will include tributes to three theater vets: Lincoln Center Theater exec producer Bernard Gersten, scenic designer Ming Cho Lee; and Jujamcyn Theaters EVP Paul Libin.
The Tony Awards, which are co-presented by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, will announce nominees for the 64th annual edition of these kudos on April 30.
Below, bios of this trio of talented folks who are to be feted at this year’s festivities.
Bernard Gersten has been the Executive Producer of Lincoln Center Theater since its re-establishment in 1985, in partnership with Gregory Mosher through 1991 and with André Bishop as Artistic Director since then. From 1960 to 1978, he was the Associate Producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival. For the LCT and NYSF productions, Mr. Gersten received 14 Tony Awards for Best Play/Musical/Revival, as well as innumerable nominations, commendations and other awards. He was Executive Vice President of Zoetrope Studios, Executive Producer of Francis Ford Coppola‘s “One From the Heart” and Co-Producer of the live-orchestra presentations throughout the world of Abel Gance’s “Napoleon.” He also served as the Vice President of Radio City Music Hall and Executive Producer of Porgy and Bess and Ice.
Ming Cho Lee is one of the foremost set designers in America today, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the highest national award given in the arts. His extensive credits include work in opera, dance, and theatre. Born in Shanghai, Mr. Lee has worked with many leading American dance companies, including Martha Graham, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Jose Limon, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. From 1962 through 1973, he was the principal designer for Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival. He has designed sets for opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. He has also designed for theatre groups including Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Manhattan Theatre Club, and for Broadway. His numerous other awards and distinctions include a Tony Award, an Obie for sustained achievement, New York Drama Desk and New York and Los Angeles Outer Circle Critics Awards, three honorary doctorates, awards for long-term achievement from 6 major theatre and opera organizations, membership in the Theatre Hall of Fame, the Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture from New York City, and the recognition of many Chinese, Asian, and Immigrant organizations.
Paul Libin began his professional career in the theatre as an actor. Since then, he has worked as a director, lighting designer, technical director, stage manager, company manager, general manager, managing director, and producing director. He produced his first play in New York in 1958 and, to date, more than 250 productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and on tour. The recipient of many awards, including nine Tony Awards, Mr. Libin is also the former Chairman of The Broadway League and a member of the League’s Executive Committee, a member of the Tony Award Management Committee, the owner of The Circle in the Square Theatre and President of the Circle in the Square Theatre School. He was the Producing Director of Circle in the Square Theatre for thirty years and served as President of the League of Off-Broadway Theatres for thirty years. He is currently President of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a trustee of The Actors Fund, Actors’ Equity Pension Fund, Treasurers’ Pension Fund, an Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts at Columbia University and Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters. He joined Jujamcyn in 1990 as Producing Director and Vice President.