Last week, I mentioned how the Tony Awards Ceremony finally found their host. This week, there is even bigger news relating to the Annual Ceremony.
For the first time since the 2013-2014 Tony Award season, the Tony Award for Best Sound Design of a Musical and Best Sound Design of a Play will be reinstated to the annual ceremony, for the 2017-2018 season.
The award was removed from the annual ceremony after the final Tony Awards administration committee meeting in that 2013-2014 season. In my opinion, removing the award was a really poor decision on behalf of the committee, so adding it back, is a huge step forward for Broadway.
When a play or musical has the element of sound, it can bring an entirely new feeling to the show. The idea of sound design can create a mood that you would not necessarily get without sound. It gives you as an audience member, a chance to really feel like you are leaving the world we live in and submerge yourself in a completely different world for a few hours.
Unfortunately, sound design is generally the element of technical theatre that seems to be left behind. The audience always is able to see the set design, the lighting design, and the costumes on the actors. Eliminating the Tony Award for sound design, only furthered that point.
Being a current stage manager and a former sound designer in my own right, I can relate to the feeling. The reason that stage management will probably never have a Tony Award is because the good stage managers are never noticed. The same can be said about sound design. When watching a production, the audience should not get the feeling they are listening to music of any kind. They should be so immersed in the experience that they do not even notice its playing.
The last two winners were Brian Ronan for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Steve Canyon Kennedy for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
How do you feel about the Tony Awards adding back the category for Best Sound Design of a Play and Musical? Do you think that this was the correct choice? Is there an argument, that the award should remain discontinued? Leave your thoughts below!