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2022 AWARDS SEASON
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Industry Editor Exclusive: Who Are the 2022 Tony Nominators?

The 2022 Tony Awards nominations will be announced on Monday, May 9 at 9am ET.

Industry Editor Exclusive: Who Are the 2022 Tony Nominators?

As we focus on the Tony nominations announcement on Monday, you may be wondering -- who does the nominating? This year over 50% of the announced nominators will not in fact be nominating anyone. There are now only 29 essential players in the Tony nominator pool.

Tony nominators are chosen by the Tony Awards Administration Committee to serve after review of their CV or other bio. Usually they are announced in a full slate at the start of the season and serve three year terms. This season is a little different. The last batch of nominators was publicly announced June 18, 2019 and they've changed slightly (for example, lighting designer ML Geiger was added; director John Erman sadly passed away) but there wasn't the official announcement that usually comes, because, let's face it, the season itself has not been traditional. But, regardless, there were at one point supposed to be 54 nominators.

The season has been a grind, especially the last month, leading to an unprecedented delay of the Tony eligibility cutoff by six days. This delay, which caught producers and press representatives off-guard, was designed to allow nominators to see all the shows and eligible performances. Because while voters can abstain from categories where they missed a nominee, nominators cannot generally recuse category by category, it's all or nothing. (The one exception being is if the nominator is a direct relation to an individual who is eligible in a certain category, that nominator can recuse just in that category in the room the day of the nominations.)

The rule on recusal - at least from the last time the rules were published - is:

A Nominator must recuse himself/herself from the Nominating Committee for any year during their three-year term in the event that any of the following situations apply to him or her: Active participation in a Tony Award eligible Broadway production; Inability to attend a performance of all Tony Award eligible productions in a season: Inability to view a performance of all Tony Award eligible Actors and/or Elements in a season; or Employed by or a Board Member of an organization that has a financial interest in a Tony Award-eligible Production.

"Active participation in a Tony Award eligible Broadway production" often eliminates some nominators. But, despite the extension, it seems nominators were most troubled by actually having to see every eligible production or performance. Eight nominators dropped out in recent weeks alone. These include dancer/choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter and Dance Theater of Harlem's Anna Glass. There is no transparency into exactly why this occurred, but inside sources say it was the end of season crush, and Covid issues impacting both nominators and potentially nominated actors, that caused these nominators to drop out.

"I was supposed to see shows and actors were out," one nominator who decided to bow out this season said. "Then I had exposure. It was all too much."

While having only 29 of 54 nominators in action seems like a crisis, context is important. The number of nominators has swelled in the last 15 years. For example, in the 2007-2008 season, there were only 27 nominators to start with. Kudos to the nominators, critics, publicists, general managers, and more, who were able to navigate through the tricky season.

This year's final 29 are:

  1. Director/Choreographer/Producer Warren Adams
  2. Goodspeed Musicals Associate Producer Bob Alwine
  3. Actor Becky Ann Baker
  4. Actor/Producer Pun Bandhu
  5. Author/Educator Milly Barranger
  6. New York Stage and Film Artistic Director Christopher Burney
  7. Actor Kathleen Chalfant
  8. Actor/Writer Eisa Davis
  9. Actor/Director Jerry Dixon
  10. Actor/Educator Peter Jay Fernandez
  11. Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes
  12. Composer Scott Frankel
  13. Director/Choreographer Maija Garcia
  14. Lighting Designer M L Geiger
  15. Actor Ann Harada
  16. American Masters Executive Producer Michael Kantor
  17. Playwright Martyna Majok
  18. Conductor John Mauceri
  19. National Black Theatre Director/Artistic Director Jonathan McCrory
  20. HBO Documentary Films President Sheila Nevins
  21. New York Theatre Workshop Artistic Director Jim Nicola
  22. Playwright/Librettist Peter Parnell
  23. Pregones Theater Artistic Director Rosalba Rolón
  24. Actor Daphne Rubin-Vega
  25. Actor/Director Don Scardino
  26. Freelance Director Kimberly Senior (who recused herself early in the season, but then rejoined the nominator pool)
  27. Choreographer/Director Randy Skinner
  28. Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director Michael Stotts
  29. Playwright/Actor Michael Benjamin Washington
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