The Tony Awards Administration Committee has decided that the authors of some revival productions will be eligible for a Tony alongside producers in the revival of a play and revival of a musical categories.
The decision comes after the minor controversy raised by the fact that musicals “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (starring Neil Patrick Harris) and “Violet” were deemed revivals despite having never been on Broadway, thereby excluding creatives (including John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask of “Hedwig” and Jeanine Tesori of “Violet”) from the awards race for book or score of a musical. According to Tony regulations, the admin committee has the right to deem Broadway debuts as revivals if a work has previously entered the legit world’s popular repertoire through Off Broadway productions, as was the case with both “Hedwig” and “Violet” as well as the play “The Cripple of Inishmaan.”
The new rule change won’t make creatives eligible in book and score races, but at least makes them eligible for a Tony in the top production categories of play revival and musical revival. Until now, only producers have been eligible to receive trophies in those two categories.
If the rule had been in effect for the 2013-14 season, Mitchell and Trask would have received Tony Awards on Sunday night alongside producer David Binder when “Hedwig” took the award for musical revival.
In a separate decision that will likely stir some discontent among the legit world’s design community, the Tonys have done away with sound design categories for both plays and musicals, instead opting to award special Tonys for sound design at the admin committee’s discretion.