Entertainment & Arts

Athol Fugard to receive lifetime Tony award

Athol Fugard and Eve Ensler
Image caption The special award recipients were announced ahead of this year's nominations

South African playwright Athol Fugard is to receive a lifetime achievement honour at this year's prestigious Tony awards, organisers have announced.

The 78-year-old, whose works include 1982's Master Harold... and the Boys, will be recognised at this year's ceremony in New York on 12 June.

US playwright Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, will also be honoured for her humanitarian efforts.

Nominations for the 2011 awards will be announced on 3 May.

One of the fiercest critics of the apartheid system, Fugard returned to South Africa last year to stage a play at the Cape Town theatre named after him.

According to Tony organisers, he is "a playwright whose art has always spoken out against racism and [who] continues to be an active voice for freedom and equality".

His novel Tsotsi was adapted for cinema and the movie won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2005.

Ensler, 57, is a performer and activist whose best-known work was first performed in New York in 1996.

The Vagina Monologues has since been published in 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries.

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