Jason Robert Brown Blogs Drama Desk Orchestration Controversy

By: Apr. 28, 2012
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In this year's Drama Desk Nominations announcement, which took place Friday morning, April 27, the Board decided to eliminate the category of Orchestrations. Many orchestrators and composers, including Jason Robert Brown, immediately took to social media to express their disappointment and outrage about the elimination of the category. On his blog, Jason Robert Brown wrote:

"I've always sort of liked the Drama Desk Awards. Over the years, I've appreciated that they really did try to be inclusive of a wide swath of New York theater, not just big-money Broadway shows, and they made interesting choices that no one predicted but that I generally agreed with. (I have won several Drama Desk Awards, so I suppose that partly explains my affection, but let's not be cynics!) Sure, there were the usual crazy nominations, the standard politicking nonsense, and yes, most of the awards actually did go to Broadway shows even if several off-Broadway ones were nominated in the category, but it still felt like, at least compared to the Tonys, it was a little more about the "show" and less about the "business."

One thing that perhaps made me most appreciate the Drama Desks was that they honored orchestrations, long before the Tony Awards started doing so. Which is why every New York theatre musician I know is offended and confused by the decision of this year's Drama Desk Nominating Committee, announced today, to eliminate the category of "Outstanding Orchestrations" for the 2012 awards. Adding to the sting is the patent refusal of the committee to make any kind of statement about why they would have done this or whether they expect it to be a permanent change. (Here's the article from Playbill Online reporting the story, with the entire statement from the press release: "The Board also decided to eliminate the category of Orchestrations.")

Read the complete post on Jason Robert Brown's Blog, here

The 57th Annual Drama Desk Awards will take place on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 8 PM at The Town Hall in Manhattan.