Four years after dropping the two sound design categories, the Tony Awards will once again be honoring these creative folk starting next year. These top theater honors introduced these two new awards in 2007 to recognize the best achievements in sound design in both plays and musicals. These prizes were part of the annual awards for seven years but were dropped after the 2014 Tonys due to concerns about the voting process.
That decision was met with a resounding chorus of disapproval from both sound designers and their fellow creators, including those who design costumes, lighting and production, which are all recognized with Tony Awards. While the administration committee of the Tonys could have handed out a special award for sound design, it failed to do so in either 2015 or last year when many along the rialto thought that “Hamilton” sound designer Nevin Steinberg was especially deserving.
Going forward, the four contenders for both the play and musical sound design awards will be determined by the nominating committee as are the rest of the competitive awards. However, the winners will be decided by a select group of the 800 plus Tony voters who can demonstrate an expertise in the field. This change in voting is also being extended to Best Orchestrations.
Be sure to make your Tony Awards predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our Tony odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on May 2. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Tony Awards taking place right now in our theater forums.