Annual Gala


Celebrating Shakespeare’s Birthday

Monday, May 13, 2024
Gala and Silent Auction
Cipriani 25 Broadway, New York City

6:30 PM Cocktails/Silent Auction
7:30 PM Dinner/Program


Featuring the 20th Presentation of the
Samuel H. Scripps Award
for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement to

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, three times winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award,

and member of the
TFANA Artistic Council

Presented by
J.T. Rogers

And the 13th Presentation of the Life in Art Award to

leading New York philanthropist

LisaGay Hamilton

Gala Co-Chairs
Kathleen C. Walsh
Robert E. Buckholz




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To make a pledge and to pay by check or other method, please contact Gavin McKenzie at or call at 646-553-3890.

The Annual Gala raises significant support for TFANA’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning productions, as well as for its in-depth education programs that serve public school students in every borough of New York City.

Theatre for a New Audience’s elegant and entertaining Gala is attended by many of New York’s leading arts patrons and has been hosted by eminent theatre artists such as Jessica Hecht, Alfred Molina, Kristine Nielsen, and Maggie Siff. The Gala includes a cocktail reception, auction, seated dinner, and program.

2024 Honorees

The Samuel H. Scripps Award
Robert A. Caro

Robert A. Caro is one of our nation’s most acclaimed and honored authors, “the greatest political biographer of our times” according to the London Sunday Times. For his biographies of Robert Moses (The Power Broker) and Lyndon Johnson (The Years of Lyndon Johnson) he has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, twice won the National Book Award, three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor. In 2010 President Barack Obama awarded Caro the National Humanities Medal. In 2019 Caro published a memoir, Working.

“Caro has changed the art of political biography,” Nicholas Von Hoffman has said. His work has been called “a study of the corruption which power exerts on those who wield it to sit beside Tacitus and his emperors, Shakespeare and his kings (Baltimore Evening Sun); “a majestic, even Shakespearean drama about the interplay of power and personality” (Justin Kaplan), and “the best presidential biography the country has ever seen” (NPR).

Born and raised in New York City, Caro graduated from Princeton, was later a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and an investigative reporter for Newsday. He lives with his wife, the writer Ina Caro, in New York City, where he is at work on the fifth and final volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson.

The Life in Art Award
Leonard Tow and the Tow Foundation

Leonard Tow, PhD, is the founder and chairman of The Tow Foundation and chief executive officer of New Century Holdings. With a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and doctoral and master’s degrees from Columbia University, Dr. Tow served as the chairman and chief executive officer of Citizens Utilities and founder of Century Communications and Centennial Cellular. He has taught at Columbia Business School, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and the New York University School of Business. His honorary degrees include Doctorates of Humane Letters from Brooklyn College, City University of New York and University of New Haven.

Dr. Tow’s current board service includes Lincoln Center Theater and Educational Broadcasting Corporation. He is a trustee of the Brooklyn College Foundation and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, as well as a director of AMC Networks.

The Tow Foundation, led by its president Emily Tow, was established in 1988 by Leonard and Claire Tow and promotes wellness and access to opportunities so that individuals and communities can thrive. It has a long history of supporting visionary leaders and nonprofit organizations, as well as providing playwright residencies and director fellowships at major theatres in New York.

Presenter of the
2024 Samuel H. Scripps Award

J.T. Rogers 

J.T. Rogers is a playwright, screenwriter, and producer. His most recent playCorruptionpremiered this spring at Lincoln Center Theater. Other plays includeOslo,One Giant Leap,Blood and Gifts,andThe Overwhelming,which have been seenon Londons West End and at the National Theatre, at Lincoln Center Theater,and throughout the US and the world. ForOslohe received the2017 Tony, New York Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lortel, and Obie awards for Best Play. He wrote the screenplay for the HBO film ofOslo,and is the creator, writer, and showrunner of the HBOMax seriesTokyo Vice.Rogers received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and the Irwin Piscator Award for his work. He is a founding partner of SRO Productions and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. 

Emcee of the 2024 Spring Gala 
LisaGay Hamilton

LisaGay Hamilton is one of America’s most distinguished actors.

In theatre, Ms. Hamilton has played some of the world’s greatest authors ranging from Shakespeare and Moliere to Athol Fugard and August Wilson winning the coveted OBIE Award for her performance in Theatre for a New Audience’s Off-Broadway premiere of Adrienne Kennedy’s OHIO STATE MURDERS and appearing on Broadway opposite Ed Harris in Aaron Sorkin’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  

In television, she is known for roles in ABC’s THE PRACTICE, TNT’s MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, and Netflix’s HOUSE OF CARDS. Her latest appearances include NatGeo’s GENIUS: MLK/X as “Alberta King”, FX’s CLASS OF ’09, Netflix’s LINCOLN LAWYER, HBO’s WINNING TIME, and Hulu’s THE DROPOUT and THE FIRST.  

In film, she recently appeared in 20th Century Studios’ THE BOOGEYMAN, based on Stephen King’s short story. Her notable credits include John Sayles’ GO FOR SISTERS, Sony’s TAKE SHELTER, Joe Wright’s THE SOLOIST, Clint Eastwood’s TRUE CRIME, Quentin Tarantino’s JACKIE BROWN, and Jonathan Demme’s BELOVED.  

Ms. Hamilton is a graduate of Juilliard’s Drama Division.  

Robert A. Caro

Leonard Tow

J.T. Rogers

LisaGay Hamilton


Lead Sponsor


Partner Sponsors


The Samuel H. Scripps Award

Samuel H. Scripps (left) was a visionary philanthropist who played a pivotal role in supporting theatre and dance. For Theatre for a New Audience, Samuel Scripps made a leadership gift to enable the Theatre to expand its body of work in Shakespeare and classical drama and increase its season from two to three annual productions. Samuel Scripps championed Shakespeare’s Globe in London. He has provided leadership support to BAM, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the American Dance Festival and the American Society for Eastern Arts where one summer in the 1970s, Julie Taymor first studied Asian art. This directly led to her study in Indonesia – an experience which has profoundly influenced her as an artist. Each year, we honor a great artist with the Samuel H. Scripps Award for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement.

Past Scripps Honorees

Arin Arbus Arin Arbus
Arin Arbus
jdtbw Merchant of Venice 1 - 158x158gray Gala-John-Turturro-pic-158x158-B&W Michael Boyd circa 2007
Past Scripps Honorees:
Ayanna Thompson (2023), Harry Lennix (2022), Marie Maignan (2021), Jeffrey Horowitz (2020), Christian Camargo (2019), Arin Arbus (2018), Bartlett Sher (2017), Kathryn Hunter (2016), John Douglas Thompson (2015), F. Murray Abraham (2014), John Turturro (2013), Michael Boyd (2012), Robert Woodruff (2011), Julie Taymor (2010), Elliot Goldenthal (2010), Mark Rylance (2009), Wallace Shawn (2008), Cicely Berry CBE, Hon.D. Lit (2007), Tony Kushner (2006), and Robert Neff Williams (2005).

The Life in Art Award

Theatre for a New Audience’s Life in Art Award honors the achievements of individuals whose support for theatre has set the standard for leadership and generosity, and whose example has inspired others to ensure that theatre remains a vibrant part of our cultural life.  The award, a signed giclée print by Milton Glaser, is named for the autobiography by the great theatre artist Constantin Stanislavski, My Life in Art.

Past Life in Art Honorees

Terry Christensen
Terry Christensen
Polonsky-Photo BarrySalzberg_150x150 Ted-2-(2)
Past Life in Art Honorees:
Audrey Heffernan Meyer (2023), Sally Brody (2022), Amanda Riegel and the Thompson Family Foundation (2021), Barbara G. Fleischman (2020), Anne Tatlock (2019), Terry Christensen (2018), Richard E. Feldman and the SHS Foundation (2017), Elayne Bernstein and Sol Schwartz (2016), Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP. (2015), Leonard Polonsky and Georgette Bennett (2014), Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (2013), Theodore C. Rogers, Former TFANA Board Chair (2012).