Larry Kramer to Receive Special Tony Award

Playwright, author, and longtime activist Larry Kramer will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award this year, the WSJ reports.

KramerThe award is "a non-competitive Tony award given to an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations."

They add:

Kramer said so few playwrights in the U.S. write about politics, and instead focus on plays about personal relationships and families, “which I consider of lesser interest to me as a writer. If you compare it with Britain where every major playwright — David Hare, Howard Brenton – has written about what’s going on in the country, that doesn’t exist here.”

Kramer said he has been “frowned upon as a serious writer” ever since his 1985 play “The Normal Heart,” which is based upon his own experiences co-founding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

Kramer won a 2011 Tony for Best Revival for the revival of The Normal Heart, now being adapted into an HBO film helmed by Ryan Murphy and starring Mark Ruffalo.

The Tony Awards take place on June 9.

(image david shankbone wikimedia)


  1. says

    good. whatever one’s feelings or Kramer as a person, there is no denying the incendiary power of The Normal Heart.

    it’s one of the most staggering pieces of american theatre – intensely political, deeply personal and human.

  2. GB says

    Let’s hope the Tony Award doesn’t mellow Kramer. I want more of the “whatever we think of him” behavior, because that, and his “incendiary” traits, are certainly inexorably tied.

  3. Strepsi says

    I saw THE NORMAL HEART revival on Broadway and it was staggeringly emotional and infuriating. Even more amazing, Kramer handed out a leaflet at the end saying how they were all real people, and what actually happened to them, that sends you sobbing into the street.

    Deserved award.

    Also, he is such a sh** disturber his speech is gonna be must-see TV!

  4. DC Arnold says

    In 1985 on the cusp of being out, I read about GRID and as well as read Kramer’s book Faggots. I was scared sh**less. I exited the peeps and bathhouses with a determination to not become a statistic. I threw myself in a relationship and volunteer work and I have Larry to thank for my life and although this is a nod to his writing, it also is an affirmation to a decent man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

  5. MickleSt says

    Good on him! But, knowing the Tony telecasts I doubt we’ll hear Larry in prime time. They’ll mention his award and air a 5-second clip of his speech (if he’s even allowed to give one).

  6. jamal49 says

    Leave it to Larry Kramer to claim he is not taken seriously as a writer because he authored A Normal Heart.

    Larry, honey, rein in your ego. Then, sit down and shut up.

  7. Tom Cardellino says

    The intense fire, heat and heart that Larry Kramer so articulately threw against the enemies of early HTLV-III research still makes me blush in admiration of his self-confidant larger than life persona. All persons susceptible to the HIV plague worldwide, as well as the human “ripples in the pond” surrounding each deplorable case of transmission must be told that Larry Kramer was steadfast when it mattered most. His fierceness launched the rockets that are now targeting the virus responsible for so much misery and the loss of so much human talent starting decades ago. He has truly earned the often tossed about term “hero!” I wish I might someday meet him to simply embrace him in thanks for my many friends, now lost but some still living, who have lived longer because of Larry Kramer’s intransigence and inexhaustible action in the face of bureaucratic disregard and political cowardice.

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