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USITT to Sponsor Collaborator Party on Tony Night

USITT has signed on as livestream sponsor for The Collaborator Party, a Tony Night party celebrating sound designers and all who have supported them since the Tony Awards scrapped sound design as a category shortly after last year’s awards.

New York sound designers Lindsay Jones and John Gromada are organising a big party to celebrate the work of Broadway sound designers and other “important and unrecognised contributors to the theatrical process,” they said.

The main event will be held during the Tony broadcast 7th June, from 7 to 11pm at Houston Hall in New York – and USITT is providing financial support for a live stream so local theatre communities can be part of the collaboration.

USITT will underwrite an internet feed via Virtualarts.tv, Jones and Gromada announced in a recent update. “We are really excited to have them aboard as a sponsor for this groundbreaking event,” Jones said.

Over 32,000 people worldwide signed Gromada’s online petition to reinstate the sound design Tonys after the Tony committee voted to eliminate them 11th June, three days after last year’s awards. The committee’s only response has been a vague offer to “revisit” the issue in the future – and not before this year’s awards.

After the snub, “We felt strongly that the sound design community needed a positive event to celebrate the important work that sound designers do on Broadway,” Gromada said of The Collaborator Party.

USITT also took an immediate stand, calling on the American Theatre Wing to reinstate the Tonys for best sound design of a play and a musical. “The Committee’s response, in my opinion, was underwhelming,” USITT executive director David Grindle wrote in an article promoting The Collaborator Party.

Grindle said USITT will provide financial support for the live feed as part of its mission to enhance the performing arts industry, and urges people to build local events around it.

“Theatre is a collaborative art, and this is a celebration of it,” Grindle said. “USITT will be encouraging our members to stream the party if they are having Tony Parties, and to stream it if they are ignoring the Tonys and just having a party. But we should take this opportunity to celebrate collaboration.”

12th May 2015

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