Stage Directors and Choreographers Society's President, Susan H. Schulman, and its executive board sent out the following letter to its SDC members on Tuesday, June 17th, the day after the elimination of the sound design categories from the Tony Awards:
As I am sure you are well aware, the recent decision by the Tony Awards Administration Committee to eliminate the Tony Awards for Best Sound Design of a Play or Musical has been met with high emotion and great public outcry. Our Membership has asked SDC to make a formal statement in support of the Awards' reinstatement, and on June 16, the Executive Board voted unanimously to do just that.
In our letter to the Tony Awards Administration Committee, we asked that they convene immediately to reinstate the Awards. In response to the idea that this decision was made because voters lack an understanding of sound designers' work and an appreciation of the theatrical art form, SDC strongly believes that education is the means by which to address this issue as opposed to the elimination of the award category.
The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, producers, and unions take very seriously their role in education and advocacy for theatre and its artists. If education is needed, let us use our collective influence to do just that – SDC stands at the ready to assist. The Tony Awards are the face of American Theatre for much of the national public. They bring people to New York City and encourage them to purchase tickets. The Awards illuminate what our artists do, and Broadway would not be the valued cultural resource that it has become without any one of the members of the entire creative team.
Circulating online is a petition begun by sound designer John Gromada. At the time this message was composed, there were more than 29,600 signatures in support of reinstating the Awards. If you have not added your voice and would like to do so, please visit the campaign – it takes less than 60 seconds to sign.
SDC thanks you for your support – of the craft, your fellow collaborators, and your Union.
Susan H. Schulman, President & SDC Executive Board