Theatre Professionals Indignant as Tonys Pull the Cord on Sound Design

The decision by the Tony Awards Administration Committee to cut the two sound design categories has been met with disdain by a nation's worth of theatre professionals frustrated at the awards show's continued focus on commercialization.

What's the Latest?

For the first time in nine years, the 2015 Tony Awards will not include categories honoring excellence in sound design for either plays or musicals. The Tony Awards Administration Committee met on Wednesday to determine eligibility for the 2014-15 season and decided that sound design would be the casualty in dropping the number of competitive categories to 25. The news has not gone over well with sound designers and other theatre professionals across the country. As of this posting, a petition calling for the awards' reinstatement has reached 13,000 signatures.

What's the Big Idea?

While most people think of the Tonys as theatre's version of the Oscars, only plays and musicals produced "on Broadway" are eligible to win them. With Broadway's mass commercialization over the past few decades, New York's most famous theatre district has become less recognized as the apex of theatrical achievement and more the apex of theatrical employment. There's a ton of money on the Great White Way but not a lot of risk as producers turn to the lowest common denominator of theatre audiences (namely, tourists). Thus, the faire has been -- well -- just take a look for yourself. The lineup of productions is littered with movie adaptation musicals and play revivals serving as vehicles for Hollywood stars whose talents don't always translate to the stage.

So it comes as no surprise that the awards show (or giant advertisement) plans on packing in more celebrities, glitz, and glamour while shunning the behind-the-scenes artists who make it all possible. The Tonys are now basically the equivalent of if Orlando held an awards show to dole out statues for "Best New Rollercoaster" to Disney World and Universal Studios, et al. It's a tourism awards show masquerading as a theatre awards show.

Read more at NY Times

Take a look at the Sound Design Petition

Photo credit: Redchanka/Shutterstock

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less