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Theatre Bay Area Postpones 2020 TBA Awards Due To Covid-19

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This is the first time the TBA Awards Ceremony has been cancelled in its history.

Theatre Bay Area officially announces that the service organization will not hold its annual TBA Awards Ceremony this year, either in person or virtually. This is the first time the TBA Awards Ceremony has been cancelled in its history.

Theatre Bay Area plans to include all productions that were registered and staged during the 2019-2020 Awards season (September 2019 to March 2020) in its 2021 celebration. The decision comes after months of discussion on how to proceed with the TBA Awards program after productions were either cancelled or forced to close early due to the shelter-in-place orders imposed in March.

Theatre Bay Area Deputy Director Dale Albright remarks, "The decision to cancel the ceremony was an extremely difficult one. Because of the shutdown of live productions and continued uncertainty surrounding live events, we felt that the best solution was to pause the whole Awards program."

This choice is also a departure from adaptations made by other awards ceremonies, like the Tony Awards, Obie Awards, and Drama Desk Awards which have gone virtual.

As the pandemic restrictions continue, TBA will be working with the community to restructure and reevaluate the program. Programs Manager Kimberley Cohan states, "Since it was introduced, the TBA Awards program has been an integral part of Theatre Bay Area's presence and contribution to Bay Area theatre. We want this program to truly be representative of the wide array of talent that Northern California has to offer." The TBA Awards program will be suspended until April 2021.

The restructuring will involve addressing the need to enhance demographic representation within the program and correct systemic issues within the existing program. Some of these changes include revising the adjudicator application process and creating more equitable adjudication rules and practices, analyzing the judging and voting process, and researching how to recognize work that has been neglected in the past, such as stage management and production staff. Theatre Bay Area leads the charge in advancing equity not only to Bay Area performing arts scene, but the theatre sector nationwide.

Theatre Bay Area is inviting input to this restructuring so that the program will reflect the communities it serves. Theatre Bay Area will be hosting several events, inviting the community to engage directly with TBA staff and discuss potential changes to the program. The first of these events will be held on October 28 at 6:30 PM. The online event is a casual, Halloween themed "dish event" where participants are invited to join a virtual town hall in costume and share with TBA staff their perspectives on the program. All opinions will be taken into consideration as Theatre Bay Area begins this restructuring process.

Please visit to register for the event. Both TBA members and non members are invited to attend. Admission is free and donations are encouraged. Another session will occur on November 18. Registration for that event will be available after Oct. 28.

The program, which began in 2013, was created to honor outstanding achievement in professionally oriented theatre through a peer-based, Bay Area-wide adjudication process. Each production is submitted by the producing company to the program, inviting adjudicators to evaluate different elements of the production including performance and technical design. Virtual programs are not eligible for the awards program at this time. Companies who were registered for the 2019-2020 awards program but were not able to produce an eligible show should contact directly to discuss carrying their registration over when the awards restart.

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