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Lucille Lortel Awards Change Eligibility Rules

Lucille Lortel Awards Change Eligibility Rules

The change comes after meeting with artistic leaders from theatres of color and historically marginalized communities to find ways for the Awards to be more inclusive.

The Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre have changed the eligibility rules for the Lucille Lortel Awards. While membership in the Off-Broadway League, seating capacity and union contracts prohibit some productions from being eligible, the Lortel Awards Administration Committee in collaboration with the Off-Broadway League Board of Directors has lowered the minimum seating capacity requirement of Lortel Award- eligible shows from 100 to 76. Off-Broadway League membership and utilization of the League's union agreements will still be a requirement. Producers can contact the Off-Broadway League for additional information or with questions about membership and Lortel Awards eligibility.

The change comes after meeting with artistic leaders from theatres of color and historically marginalized communities to find ways for the Lucille Lortel Awards to be more inclusive.

"The Off-Broadway community acknowledges that access to larger theatre spaces has served as an impediment to smaller companies and especially companies of color from participating fully in the Lortel Awards program," explained George Forbes, Executive Director of the Lucille Lortel Theatre. "That loss of opportunity has had a negative impact on those smaller companies from having their work recognized, promoted and supported by a wider group of funders and audiences," Forbes continued, "It is our sincere hope that this adjustment will allow more artists of color to have their work acknowledged and celebrated."

Casey York, President of the Off-Broadway League, added "The Off-Broadway Community has always been a diverse group of artists and theatre professionals and we hope to continue to increase representation and recognition through this change. We're proud to expand access to our organization and to the Lortel Awards. We acknowledge that this is only a first step in trying to right decades of wrongs and we want the community of NYC theatre artists to know that we are here to listen to their concerns and continue to improve our record on this issue."

The Off-Broadway League's Lucille Lortel Awards Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Tisa Chang, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Danielle Karliner Naish, Ralph Peña, Catherine Russell, Lindsey Sag, and Casey York) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, Alana Canty-Samuel, Maura Le Viness, and Karla Liriano) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman returns to direct the Lortel Awards for the twelfth consecutive year. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

For updates and news visit www.LortelAwards.org.

ABOUT THE Lucille Lortel AWARDS

The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence in Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. Awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Featured Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement Award, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award and induction onto the Playwrights' Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see www.LortelAwards.org.

ABOUT THE OFF-BROADWAY LEAGUE

The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres (productions in Manhattan in venues with 100-499 seats), to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as a collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals. In the recent years the League has grown to represent an average of 150 individual members and theatres and more than 100 non-for-profit and commercial shows per season.

ABOUT THE Lucille Lortel THEATRE

The Lucille Lortel Theatre's mission is to foster both new and established artists, increase awareness and appreciation of Off-Broadway, and uphold fair and equitable business and artistic practices in service of creating a larger, more diverse community of theatre makers and audiences. This season the Lortel Theatre is producing The Kate Berlant Show at the Connelly Theatre and Four Saints in Three Acts at the Doxsee at Target Margin Theater while its Christopher Street home is under renovations. The Lortel has numerous other programs including its NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship, Live at The Lortel podcast, the Lucille Lortel Awards and Playwrights' Sidewalk, the Internet Off-Broadway Database (IOBDB.com) which recently launched an app on the Apple App Store, Non-Profit Theatre Strategic and Management Services, Subsidized Theatre Space, and Fellowships in Theatre with Bennington College. For more information, please visit lortel.org.

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