From the Tonys to the Obies, here’s what’s happening with the spring awards season.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep New York stages empty, questions linger over the approaching awards season. The spring rush usually culminates in the Tony Awards, though now, Broadway performances have been canceled through at least June 7, the day the 74th annual ceremony was to take place.
As a result, various awards committees have readjusted their plans to commemorate the impacted 2019–2020 season.
See below for the current status of several theatre awards, including new nomination and ceremony dates, eligibility details, and virtual alternatives.
The Bessie Awards
The Bessie Committee has determined that its 2020 awards will continue to honor both dance and performance, though in light of cancellations and pushes to streaming, any program that was scheduled to be performed live between March 16 and June 1 and was instead reformatted for live digital presentation will be considered eligible.
The Chita Rivera Awards
The May 17 ceremony honoring dancers and choreographers has been postponed, with a new date to be announced later in the year.
The Drama Desk Awards
The Drama Desk will continue with its 65th annual awards as scheduled, with nominations announced April 21. However, the May 31 ceremony will now take place online, with winners announced digitally instead of at The Town Hall. The eligibility window for shows has been revised to end March 11 (the day before New York’s mass gathering restrictions were implemented).
The Drama League Awards
The 2020 Drama League Awards have been “re-envisioned” as the Gratitude Awards, acting instead as a fundraiser for members of the theatre community affected by the pandemic. New dates for nominations and the awards ceremony (both held online) will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Lucille Lortel Awards
The Off-Broadway celebration will be held online this year. As originally scheduled, nominations will be announced April 14 with winners revealed May 3. Productions that opened after February 16 will be given the option to be considered either this year or next.
The Obie Awards
The 2020 ceremony has been delayed and will eventually take place virtually. The American Theater Wing (a co-presenter of the awards with The Village Voice) has established a relief fund for artists impacted by canceled productions, which will distribute grants of $500 to Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway artists.
The Olivier Awards
Though the April 5 U.K. ceremony was canceled, a television special highlighting Olivier moments from past years aired on ITV that day instead. The network intends to broadcast a new ceremony announcing the winners this fall.
The Outer Critics Circle Awards
The April 20 nominations announcement and May 21 gala have been put on hold, with rescheduling details to follow.
The Pulitzer Prizes
Originally scheduled to be announced April 20, the annual awards for journalism, literature, drama, and music will now be revealed via live stream May 4.
The Theatre World Awards
The 76th annual ceremony highlighting Broadway and Off-Broadway newcomers, originally scheduled for June 1, has been postponed and will likely take place in the fall.
The Tony Awards
The 74th annual ceremony, originally slated for June 7, has been put on hold indefinitely. Rescheduling and new eligibility details will be announced once the industry has a better sense of when productions will resume.