Organizers of the Tony Awards have set a plan for a virtual presentation of this year’s awards ceremony to be held in the fall.
The 74th annual Tony Awards ceremony had been scheduled for June 7 at Radio City Music Hall, but Broadway’s big night was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019-2020 Broadway season was abruptly cut short by the shuttering of Main Stem theaters in March as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened and New York state imposed strict social distancing requirements.
The specific date and platform for the virtual Tonys will be announced “soon,” according to the statement from the Broadway League and American Theatre Wing, which administer the Broadway kudos.
“Though unprecedented events cut the 2019-2020 Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president & CEO of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement issued Friday. “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.”
Questions of eligibility in the shortened season will be determined in the coming days by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. Given the unexpected shutdown, Tony administrators are likely to face numerous questions about the criteria for contenders in this year’s unusually short season.
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The Tony nominations announcement had been set for April 28. The eligibility window for shows to compete in the Tonys was to have closed on April 23. According to Playbill, there were 16 shows set for the 2019-20 season that had yet to formally open by the time Broadway went dark in March.
The Tony Awards are among countless events on the entertainment industry calendar that were disrupted by the onset of the pandemic in the U.S.