Adding Eric LaJuan Summers to the 2019 Tony Award in Memoriam
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MEMBERS OF ACTORS EQUITY ASSOCIATION PETITION FOR THE INCLUSION
OF ERIC LAJUAN SUMMERS IN THE “IN MEMORIAM” SECTION OF THE TELECAST OF THE 73RD ANNUAL AMERICAN THEATRE WING’S TONY AWARDS
Pursuant to The Broadway League and American Theatre Wing, the undersigned Petitioner(s) submit this Petition to the The American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League and request that Eric LaJuan Summers be included in the “In Memoriam” section of the live telecast of the 73rd American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards.
In support of this Petition, Petitioner would show the Board as follows:
1. Though Eric LaJuan Summers was not a recipient of the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Award he spent fifteen (15) years as a beloved and well respected member of the Broadway community. Mr. Summers was an Original Broadway Cast Member for two (2) Broadway companies, (The Wedding Singer and Motown The Musical), both of which performed on the 60th and the 67th Years of the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards, as well as being a member of four (4) other Broadway companies as a replacement member.
2. While we completely understand that there are specific criterion for which inclusion in this part of the telecast is necessary, the contributions of someone like Eric LaJuan Summer’s as a performer and member of this community has been astronomical. His reach as an inspiration for his fellow actors to continue to improve on their craft and to continue to strive for excellence within themselves. It is our belief that had his life not been cut so tragically short due to his two year battle with cancer, his trajectory would have allowed him to be counted among those who bare the title “Tony Nominee” and “Tony Award Winner.” Furthermore, he would have continued to inspire young men and women of color to achieve what he had.
3. The Petitioner(s) are members of Actors’ Equity Association, which is the labor union representing American actors and stage managers in the theatre. Actors' Equity Association, founded in 1913, represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers nationwide. Actors' Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.
Eric’s professionalism and hard work ethic was not lost on the people he worked for as well. Producer Daryl Roth had and has gone to great length to ensure that the legacy of someone like Eric be remembered and celebrated by all. When the Lola costume was donated to The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC Eric’s name stood beside Tony Winner Billy Porter’s as someone who once wore those high red boots. Thus sealing Eric’s legacy in our theatre lexicon.
WHEREFORE, Petitioner(s) hereby request that aforementioned Eric LaJuan Summers be included in the "in memoriam" section of the Live telecast of the 73rd Annual American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards.
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