The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing recently announced that the 2020 Tony Awards ceremony will be going ahead in the fall – but digitally.
The ceremony, originally set for June 7 of this year, was postponed indefinitely March 25.
“Though unprecedented events cut the 2019–2020 Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin and American Theatre Wing President Heather Hitchens said in a joint statement. “We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time. The show must go on, no matter what—and it will.”
Only shows that opened by February 19 will be eligible. Though West Side Story and Girl From the North Country had opened by the time the Broadway shutdown started, but the Tony voters were not all able to see them, so they will not be eligible this time around. They will, however, be eligible for next year’s awards. 16 shows that were supposed to open this past season had not done so yet by shutdown, and half of them had not even played a single preview, according to Playbill.
According to the New York Times, the administrators had actually considered combining both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons for one big televised ceremony next year, but ultimately decided that would be unfair to the shows that opened in 2019.
The administrators and rule-makers will be meeting this week to discuss the categories. For many categories there are few eligible competitors. For example, The Lightning Thief is technically the only show eligible for original score. They may decide to eliminate the category completely, or require that a certain percentage of voters support the nominee, even though it is the only one. The same goes for other categories facing similar issues.
They hope to have the ceremony in late October, but further details remain to be seen. Will it be fully digital? Or will it be socially distanced in person? What will the performances be like?
Let’s speculate for fun. What do we all think the awards show will be like this year? All I hope for is a way to celebrate our beloved community.
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