By Marc Snetiker
April 27, 2015 at 05:37 PM EDT
Joan Marcus

Lift up your hands: John Cameron Mitchell, who first gave life to the title character in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, will receive the 2015 Special Tony Award.

It’s a top honor reserved for outstanding contributions to theater. Mitchell starred in and wrote the book for the original 1998 production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch Off Broadway, reprising his role in the 2001 film adaptation. Mitchell also appeared in the original Broadway casts of Big RiverSix Degrees of Separation, and The Secret Garden.

After the success of the 2014 Broadway revival of Hedwig starring Neil Patrick Harris, Mitchell became the fourth actor to play the role in the smash production. He departed the role on April 26, and he’ll be replaced by Darren Criss.

“John’s return to Hedwig and the Angry Inch is one for the history books,” said Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, and Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin in a joint statement. “He not only wrote and co-created the role with Stephen Trask—before directing and starring in the film—but returned to Broadway to star as Hedwig this season after a series of rave performances by Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, and Michael C. Hall. This is a remarkable undertaking, and we are honored to recognize his outstanding success with this honor.”

The nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards will be announced on April 28. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on June 7 on CBS.