Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Supports Sound Designers

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Supports Sound Designers

As BWW reported last week, the 2013-2014 Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the final time this season to determine the eligibility rules for the 2014-2015 season. The most controversial decision determined that Best Sound Design of a Play and Best Sound Design of a Musical Categories would be eliminated from the established list of competitive categories, beginning with the 2014-2015 season. The Tony Administration Committee may bestow a Special Tony Award to a production when it determines that extraordinary sound design has been achieved.

In response to the decision, sound designer John Gromada, who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Sound Design of a Play for 2013's revival of The Trip to Bountiful, has started an online petition (which currently has over 30,000 signatures) to reverse the Committee's ruling.

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society just released the below letter to show support for the cause:

SDC Members,

As I am sure you are well aware, the recent decision by the Tony Awards Administration Committee to eliminate the Tony Awards for Best Sound Design of a Play or Musical has been met with high emotion and great public outcry. Our Membership has asked SDC to make a formal statement in support of the Awards' reinstatement, and on June 16, the Executive Board voted unanimously to do just that.

In our letter to the Tony Awards Administration Committee, we asked that they convene immediately to reinstate the Awards. In response to the idea that this decision was made beacause voters lack an understanding of sound designers' work and an apprecitation of the theatrical art form, SDC strongly believes that education is the means by which to address this issue as opposed to the elimination of the award category.

The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, producers, and unions take very seriously their role in education and advocacy for theatre and its artists. If education is needed, let us use our collective influence to do just that - SDC stands at the ready to assist. The Tony Awards are the face of American Theatre for much of the national public. They bring people to New York City and encourage them to purchase tickets. The Awards illuminate what our artists do, and Broadway would not be the valued cultural resource that it has become without any one of the members of the entire creative team.

Circulating online is a petition begun by sound designer John Gromada. At the time this message was composed, there were more than 29,600 signatures in support of reinstating the Awards. If you have not added your voice and would like to do so, please visit the campaign - it takes less than 60 seconds to sign.

SDC thanks you for your support - of the craft, your fellow collaborators, and your Union.

In solidarity,

Susan H. Schulman, President & SDC Executive Board

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