With the 2019-2020 season cut short for theaters across the world, the 74th annual Tony Awards seemed uncertain. Some of the season’s most-anticipated shows were open for only weeks before they were shuttered due to rising concerns about the impact of large crowds on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a few months ago, it seemed likely that the 74th and 75th annual awards would be aired together in 2021, but now the show is going digital.
The original cut-off date for a production to be eligible for a Tony Award nomination was April 23, but with the abbreviated season, the new deadline, set by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, has been pushed up. Shows that opened by February 19 will be included in the consideration for this year’s awards. Unfortunately, this leaves a long list of new plays and musicals from this season off the list of eligible productions, including Girl from the North Country, SIX, Diana, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flying Over Sunset, Sing Street, The Minutes, The Lehman Trilogy, Birthday Candles, West Side Story (revival), Company, Caroline, or Change, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Plaza Suite, American Buffalo, How I Learned to Drive, and Take Me Out.
On the Tony Awards official website, they shared this statement: “Though unprecedented events cut the 2019-2020 Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing, in a statement. “We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time. The show must go on, no matter what – and it will.”
The details about the Tonys like when and where to watch the ceremony, if there will be performances, and if the categories will change with fewer eligible nominees and voters are still up in the air, but the ceremony will take place sometime this fall.