The Tony Awards are given annually by the American Theatre Wing to recognize excellence in American theatre. The award is called a "Tony" in honor of Antoinette Perry, an actress and past director of the American Theatre Wing.  The first Tony awards were presented on April 6, 1947. .
At the first ceremony in 1947, awards were presented in 11 categories. There are now awards given in 27 categories of live theatre (plays) and musicals.