Tony Walton to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 1, 2013

Tony Walton

Tony Walton

Oscar and three-time Tony Award-winner Tony Walton will receive the Mike and Dianne Bowman Lifetime Achievement award at Texas State University this fall and will hold the title of Artist-in-Residence for the 2013-2014 season, as part of the Bowman Guest Artist Series.

"Tony is one of the gems of American theatre and film," said Kaitlin Hopkins, head of musical theatre at Texas State. "We are thrilled Tony is coming to receive such a richly deserved award for his incredible body of work. To also have him share his expertise with the students at Texas State is a dream come true. In addition to a tribute in his honor his residency will include some thrilling events for the students and the San Marcos community, including lectures, Q and As, screenings, and master classes.

"Award winning actress Shirley Knight will also be here to make a special presentation at the award ceremony," Hopkins said. "To have a theater legend like Tony Walton, along with Tony Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang, here the same semester as part of the Bowman Guest Artist series is educationally is one of the greatest gifts our students could receive."

Walton started his professional career in 1957. Since then, he has garnered 16 Tony Award nominations for his sets and costumes, winning the Tony and the Drama Desk Award for his designs for Pippin, House of Blue Leaves and Guys and Dolls. He has worked with directors as diverse as Bob Fosse, Sidney Lumet, Paul Newman, Mike Nichols, Ken Russell, Volcker Schlondorf and Francois Truffaut. Walton has received Academy Award nominations for Mary Poppins, The Boy Friend, The Wiz and Murder on the Orient Express, and won the Oscar for All That Jazz. Tony’s graphic work consists of book and magazine illustrations, caricatures for such publications as Playbill, Theatre Arts and Vogue; and many posters for Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End shows. He has co-produced shows in London--three in association with the legendary Hal Prince. His designs for the opera and the ballet have been seen at NYC’s Metropolitan Opera House, London’s Theatre Royal Covent Garden and Sadler’s Wells.

In addition to his design credits, for the last 15 years Walton has been the director (and usually designer) for acclaimed productions of many plays by Shaw, Wilde and Coward (along with new work and new musicals by both Irish and American authors) at the Irish Repertory Theatre, The Irish Center, The York Theatre, San Diego’s Old Globe and Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theatre.

"Tony Walton is one of the most acclaimed designers of the last 50 years, and the rare artist who has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony. I am thrilled that he will be sharing his expertise with our students as well as the Texas State and San Marcos community," said Department of Theatre and Dance Chair John Fleming. "Anyone interested in design and the creative world behind-the-scenes will find his visit both informative and inspiring."

As part of his residency, in addition to receiving the Bowman Lifetime Achievement Award, Walton will also teach master classes and do a lecture on "Collaboration--The Process" for the students and the community, and talkbacks following screenings of his films.

The Bowman Guest Artist Series at Texas State is made possible by a generous gift from Mike and Dianne Bowman.

For more information, please contact John Fleming at the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance at (512) 245-3660.