Talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, one of Broadway’s biggest fans, will be honored with the 2014 Isabelle Stevenson Award. The honor will be presented at the Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall. The Stevenson Award, named for the late president of the American Theatre Wing, is presented “annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations,” according to the Tony Awards, which are given by the Broadway League and the Wing.
O’Donnell is being honored for her commitment to arts education inNew York City’s public schools. In 2003, Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation started Rosie’s Broadway Kids, now known as Rosie’s Theater Kids (RTKids), a non-profit organization providing training in dance, music and drama.
“We are excited to announce Rosie as this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient,” Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing said in a Statement. “Rosie exemplifies the spirit and the generosity of the Broadway community through her ‘pay it forward’ mentality within the arts community and beyond. Rosie constantly works to make our world a better place, and unconditional generosity like hers deserves great recognition.”
O’Donnell herself hosted the Tonys three times, winning the Emmy in 1998 for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for the 52nd awards. She hosted The Rosie O’Donnell Show and won 12 Daytime Emmy Awards for both Outstanding Talk Show and Host. She also hosted the tenth season of The View, Rosie Radio on SiriusXM, and The Rosie Show on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her theater credits include Grease, Seussical the Musical, Fiddler on the Roof, Love, Loss and What I Wore, and the Encores! presentation of No, No, Nanette. She also served as producer for the musical Taboo.
Previous recipients of the Isabelle Stevenson Award include Phyllis Newman, David Hyde Pierce, Bernadette Peters, and playwright-activists Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) and Larry Kramer (The Normal Heart).