Lisa Dawn Cave, Victoria Bailey and Robert Fried to Receive 2023 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced that they will present the 2023 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre to three outstanding contributors to the Broadway industry – production stage manager, Lisa Dawn Cave; Victoria Bailey, Executive Director, Theatre Development Fund; and theatrical accountant, Robert Fried.
The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories.
“It is our absolute honor to present Lisa Dawn, Victoria, and Robert with the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre,” said Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “We are thrilled to recognize their outstanding achievements in each of their respective fields; and their unwavering dedication to our Broadway community.”
Lisa Dawn Cave's professional theatre career started as a dancer/singer where she performed in Cats, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls, Bubblin’ Brown Sugar and Golden Boy.
After 10 years of performing on the stage, Lisa Dawn’s career transitioned to behind the scenes, where she has worked consistently in stage management. These credits include the Broadway productions of Frozen, Shuffle Along, Fun Home, Rocky, The Humans, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Bring It On, West Side Story (2009), Come Fly Away, The Color Purple, Hot Feet, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, The Woman In White, Julius Caesar, Caroline or Change, Hollywood Arms, Into the Woods, Wild Party, Parade, Smokey Joe’s Café and the 1994 revival of Showboat.
Lisa Dawn is currently the Production Supervisor for Disney’s The Lion King and Frozen worldwide, along with the re-imagined Aida, which is currently playing in the Netherlands. In addition to her theatre credits, Lisa Dawn serves on the Board of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. She is a founding member of both Black Theatre United and Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color and has served as an elected Councilor for Actors Equity Association for 11 years.
Victoria Bailey has been the Executive Director of TDF since 2001. TDF sustains live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. It envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible, and inspirational. TDF fulfills its mission by expanding access through ticketing, accessibility, and information initiatives; by cultivating communities through school and community engagement programs and by supporting theatre makers through training, professional development programs, and national audience research.
Highlights of Ms. Bailey’s tenure include playing a key role in the construction of the award winning TKTS booth at Duffy Square, a 100% increase in number of NYC high school students served in TDF’s Education Programs; the launch of Autism Theatre Initiative, the Access.NYC website in partnership with Broadway League and the Veterans Theatregoing Program; the creation of Community Engagement Programs, the implementation of the Passports Program to support The New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit ticketing requirements and a 100% increase in TDF members.
Ms. Bailey completed a national research project in partnership with Brad Erickson from Theatre Bay Area titled Triple Play, examining ways to strengthen the relationship between playwrights, theatres, and audiences as a means to increase audience appetite for new and risky work. Previously, she was instrumental in the execution of a comprehensive study of the lives of American playwrights and the production of new American Plays. The study culminated in Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play, written by Todd London with Ben Pesner and Zannie Giraud Voss:
Prior to her appointment at TDF, she had a nearly 20-year association with Manhattan Theatre Club where she served as General Manager for close to 150 productions. Ms. Bailey is Theatre Management and Producing Advisor and Adjunct Professor at the School of the Arts at Columbia University, and a member of the board at the Times Square Alliance. She has served several terms on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee. In addition, she has served on several Broadway League Committees, most recently the Equity, Diversion and Inclusion Committee. Ms. Bailey received a B.A. in history from Yale College.
Robert Fried, a practicing certified public accountant for almost four decades, has provided tax, consulting and accounting services almost exclusively to the theatre industry for over 32 years. Working on hundreds of theatrical productions during his career, his childhood aspirations of being a professional musician grounded him in the arts and helped drive his passion for the theatre industry.
During the early part of his career, while a partner at the accounting firm that tabulated the Tony Awards ballots, Robert attended the annual Tony Awards ceremony and handed winner envelopes to presenters backstage. In 2002 he founded his own firm with his partner Karen Kowgios, focusing solely on the commercial and not-for-profit theatre industry. Together their firm represented the majority of commercial productions and not for profit theaters in New York City. They also launched an association with UK professionals, which significantly expanded their services internationally. Robert currently works on the majority of productions that transfer from the US to the UK, and for theatrical producers whose shows from the UK are produced within the US. In addition to UK taxes and planning, Robert specializes in cross border planning with Australia, Germany and other foreign jurisdictions.
In his current position with the firm of Withum Smith & Brown, which has a team of over thirty five professionals dedicated to the theatre industry, Robert works with and represents some of the most prominent and successful Broadway musicals including Wicked, Hamilton, Book of Mormon, New York, New York, MJ, Some Like it Hot, Bad Cinderella, & Juliet, Funny Girl, Hadestown, Harry Potter, Six, Kimberly Akimbo, Moulin Rouge, A Beautiful Noise, Sweeney Todd, Shucked, Parade, and others. He also works with and advises many of the industry leading producers and general managers.
Alongside the Broadway League, Robert has participated in successful US Congressional lobbying efforts which ultimately amended tax laws that impacted the commercial theatre industry. During the theatrical closure due to COVID, he provided significant consultation and coordination with the industry, obtaining relief through insurance claims as well as federal funding under the PPP and SVOG programs. He worked closely with the League Government Relations committee, helping to draft and interpret legislation for the NYC Theatrical tax credit.
For more information about the Tony Awards, visit tonyawards.com.