Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater to Receive 2024 Regional Theatre Tony Award Alongside $25,000 Grant

June 3, 2024

By Joshua Doyle

The Tony Awards administration committee confirmed Wednesday that the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia will be honored with the prestigious 2024 Regional Theatre Tony Award. This accolade not only recognizes the theater’s sustained artistic excellence but also its contribution to the national theater scene. Along with the title, the theater will receive a grant of $25,000, reported The Inquirer.

Having been a stalwart in Philly’s cultural landscape for over five decades, the Wilma Theater was established in 1973 as an artist collective. Since then, it has transformed into an institution that showcases critically acclaimed productions annually, as noted by 6abc. The 77th Annual Tony Awards ceremony is slated to take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, on Sunday, June 16.

The Wilma Theater has particularly made waves with its innovative Wilma HotHouse program, envisioned by Blanka Zizka. After co-founder Jiri Zizka stepped down in 2010 and subsequently passed away in 2012, Blanka Zizka took solitary command. The program has since blossomed into a permanent company known for cultivating Philadelphia-based talents and fostering artistic exploration, Deadline highlighted.

In a testament to its evolution and leadership, Wilma announced its introduction of a three-person artistic director team following Zizka’s retirement in 2021, with Lindsay Smiling, a founding member of the HotHouse, stepping up as a co-artistic director in 2023. The theater’s upcoming 2024-25 season will showcase productions spearheaded by each co-artistic director and will mark the return of Jiri Zizka, featuring works such as “The Comeuppance” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and “The Half-God of Rainfall” by Inua Ellams, as per Deadline.