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Jack O’Brien and George C. Wolfe to receive 2024 Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement

The 77th annual Tony Awards ceremony will be held on June 16.

(L-R) Jack O'Brien and George C. Wolfe (Credit: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images; Michael Kovac/Getty Images for LACMA)

The Tony Awards have announced Jack O’Brien and George C. Wolfe as recipients of the 2024 Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. They will be feted at the previously announced June 16 Tony Awards ceremony at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.

O’Brien is one of a handful of individuals to win three or more Tony Awards for direction. He took home the trophy for 2002’s “Hairspray,” the 2003 revival of “Henry IV” and 2006’s trilogy “The Coast of Utopia.” His Main Stem career spans six decades, having helmed such productions as the 1994 revival of “Damn Yankees,” 2000’s “The Full Monty,” 2001’s “The Invention of Love,” 2005’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” 2011’s “Catch Me If You Can,” the 2019 staging of “All My Sons” and 2023’s “Shucked.” He will next direct “The Roommate,” slated to open on Broadway in fall 2024. The artistic director of San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre from 1981 to 2007, O’Brien has published two memoirs, “Jack Be Nimble” and “Jack in the Box: or, How to Goddamn Direct.”

Wolfe has received 10 Tony nominations for direction, winning the award for 1993’s “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” and 1996’s “Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk.” Additional Broadway directing credits include 1992’s “Jelly’s Last Jam,” 2000’s “The Wild Party” and 2004’s “Caroline, or Change.” As a writer, he received Tony nominations for penning the books to 1992’s “Jelly’s Last Jam,” 2000’s “The Wild Party,” and 2016’s “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.” Wolfe served as artistic director of the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival from 1995 through 2004.

“Honoring these two gentlemen for their outstanding achievements and contributions to theater is not only a recognition of their innate talent and dedication, but to a lifetime of brilliant work. With credits such as ‘Hairspray’ and ‘The Invention of Love,’ Jack O’Brien has showcased astounding diversity, skill and passion throughout his esteemed career,” said Jason Laks, interim president of the Broadway League, in a statement. “In his role as artistic director of the Old Globe Theatre for 25 years, he also leaves a lasting legacy of strengthening the relationship between the commercial and nonprofit worlds."

“Both of our honorees have shown a true commitment to the craft that has led to remarkable success across their deeply applauded breadth of work,” added Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing. “George C. Wolfe’s stellar contributions as a playwright, director, producer and artistic director, including his unforgettable direction in productions like ‘Angels in America: Millennium Approaches’ and ‘Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk,’ have left a lasting impression on audiences. Beyond his tremendous dedication to storytelling, he has shown an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout his illustrious career that has shifted culture and elevated the theater community.”

The Tony Awards are presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.