American Theater Wing announces new Partnership with DHS

Today, the American Theater Wing and The Broadway League announced an new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security. The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® are presented by Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The two organizations have jointly administered the Tony’s since 1967, the year of the first Tony telecast.  The Department of Homeland Security is charged with protecting Americans from terrorist threats.

This new partnership will come into the spotlight on June 10, 2012 during the 66th annual Tony Awards.  The show will feature three new categories – Best Airport Cast, Best Performance by a Backscatter Specialist, and Best Performance by Gate Screening Specialist.

A spokesperson for the Tony organization said, “It’s only natural we should recognize excellence in the stage performance of the TSA. These agents don’t just do a show every night and a Wednesday matinee. They are on stage all the time. They are never dark.”

He went on to praise the skills of the officers. “The way they can say, ‘We are here for your protection,’ and ‘Your safety is our priority,’ over and over with a straight face is truly astounding.

The Best Airport Cast award will recognize the TSA team a particular airport that most effectively conveys the illusion that they make flying more secure. The judges will consider how many people in the community actually believe the TSA, with a special weighting given to the views of the airport staff.  The winner is the ensemble that has so effectively portrayed the role of “security” that its own members actually start to believe they have value.

The Best Performance by a Backscatter Specialist will recognize an officer that most clearly acts as though selection is a random and that displays the most convincing portrayal of someone not afraid of the non-FDA tested and non-AMA tested radiation emitters, more commonly known as nude-o-scopes.

Because every great show needs an encore, the Best Performance by a Gate Screening Agent will recognize an officer for their excellence in this task. It’s a tough category. Gate Screenings are the random, surprise inspections that take place at the boarding door, where TSA does its best to delay flights and further annoy passengers. The agent in this role must be able to convince passengers not only of the value of this task, but also that they even though they are doing it, that does not mean that the check point team frequently misses things.

The TSA was originally created by Congress on November 19,2001, as a way to make the American people think they were doing something about the very real threat of terrorism the country faced. The illusion has largely been considered effective. The legislation included a framework that would allow for collective bargaining. TSA rank and file are expected to select Actors' Equity as its union of choice.

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