Rosie O’Donnell must be singing and dancing tonight. The Tony Awards administration announced Tuesday that the actress will receive the 2014 Isabelle Stevenson Award, an honorary prize given to members of the theater community for their philanthropic efforts.
The award is in recognition of O’Donnell’s commitment to arts education for New York’s public school children and for her work with her Rosie’s Theater Kids initiative. In 2003, the Emmy Award-winner founded the nonprofit arts education organization to provide training in dance, music and drama to students attending NYC public schools.
“We are excited to announce Rosie as this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient. 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,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing.
O’Donnell is a veteran to the Tony’s and Broadway stages. The comedienne has hosted the awards three times, resulting in an 1999 Emmy win for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special for the 52nd annual Tony Awards. Her theater credits include the musicals Fiddler on the Roof 2005), Seussical (2001), and the Encores! production of No, No, Nanette. O’Donnell starred as the feisty Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease and was also in the play Love, Loss and What I Wore. In 2003, O’Donnell was the lead producer in Taboo, the Boy George-inspired musical, which unfortunately closed after only 100 performances.
O’Donnell is perhaps most famous for hosting The Rosie O’Donnell Show, her popular daytime talk show (1996-2002), and for her scene stealing role in the beloved 1992 film, A League of Their Own. She can be currently scene on ABC Family’s The Fosters.
The Tony Award nominations will be announced by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff on Tuesday, April 29. The show, which will be hosted for the fourth time by Hugh Jackman, will air live on CBS from New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 8.
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)