In recent years, the debate for against including sound in the Tony technical awards has looked like a tug of war.
Only created in 2008, sound design was the youngest Tony Award until 2014, when the organization decided to pull the plug- quite literally. Unless reinstated, sound design will remain the shortest lived award in Tony history. But many sound designers and members of the technical theatre community continue to put up a fight.
Every other major award show includes a category for excellence in sound design (this includes the Oscars, Grammy, etc.) but the Tony Awards were last on this train. The reason given? The same as why the committee decided to retract the award: the voters and committee don’t understand the craft, and when the award was still included, most voting members chose to forgo voting in the sound design category anyway.
The Tony Administration Committee has since said that they feel sound design is more of a technical award than a theatrical award. To many, this appears more of a lack of understanding than a shift in definitions.
It’s been suggested by current West End and Broadway sound designers that Tony Award voters be educated on what to listen and look for with sound design, the same as they would listen to the original music in a play, or score of a musical. The committee has stated their hope to create a Special Tony Award for sound designers- but this would make sound the only “technical” category not included in the main award set.
Read about the committee’s announcement: click here
This has raised the question about what other awards the theatre community feel the Tony Awards have overlooked, and once they’re put in to a list, it may come as a surprise that these categories have never been historically considered.
- Best Ensemble
- Best Makeup and Hair Design
- Best Original Score (Play)
MITM Musings: Have you ever thought about any other “missing” awards that could be added to this list?
Do you agree with those who want to add back the award or those who want to create the Special Tony Award?