Tony Awards mystery solved: Who decides the winners?

This year’s Tony Awards winners were decided by 839 folks who make their living working on Broadway.  Voters were sent paper ballots and they had two weeks, which ended at 6 p.m. ET on Friday (June 9), to get them back to the accounting firm of Grant Thornton. These bean counters tallied the votes and winners will be revealed on Sunday (June 11) during the three-hour ceremony on CBS to be hosted by Kevin Spacey.

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest voting blocs comes from the two organizations that present these top theater honors: the non-profit American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, which represents producers. The Wing gets 75 votes allocated to members of the board and advisory council while the league gets ballots for all voting members. In addition, the 53 members of the Tony Awards nominating committee get to vote on the winners too.

The 89 members of the national council of the Actors Equity Association cast ballots as do the 70 members of the Dramatist Guild council, the 29 members of the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the 19 members of the executive board of the United Scenic Artists.

In addition, Tony voters include up to 16 members of the Casting Society of America council, 15 members of the governing board of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, 10 members of the board of the National Association of Talent Representatives and five members of the board of Musicians Local 802.

The Tonys stand alone among the top show business awards in that critics can vote for the winners. These scribes who review Broadway shows represented a sizeable portion of voters until they were bounced in 2009. The following year, the Tonys relented but only invited back the two dozen or so members of the New York Drama Critics Circle.

Predict the Tony Awards winners now; change them until June 11

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 winners are announced on June 11. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Tony Awards taking place right now in our theater forums.

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