May 2015

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May 2015

News From David Grindle, USITT Executive Director

A New Reason to Hold a Party

Your Official Invitation

This is it! Your official invitation to The Collaborator Party, the Tony night party for the theatre sound community and all of their collaborators! Don't miss it out on this fantastic event and please share this with all your friends!

Posted by The Collaborator Party on Monday, April 20, 2015

Here we are in May; next month we get the 2015 Tony Awards… minus one.

It’s reasonably okay that most design awards in our industry are presented “at another time.” But here we are with the Antoinette Perry Awards openly shunning one element of our collaborative effort. In the fury of the announcement last year, it was noted that the sound design was too difficult to judge and that it was really a more technical mastery and not a design art. I’m still not sure what this means but it seems to say, “We don’t understand it, so we are dropping it.”

Over 32,000 people from around the world signed a petition asking the Tony Committee to reconsider. The Committee’s response was, in my opinion, underwhelming. Sound designers labor to make an integrated environment in theatres across the world. In the shows I’ve seen on Broadway this year, I couldn’t imagine having no cohesive sound design to complete the environment. While I don’t understand the art, I can appreciate it -- which seems more than the Tony Committee can admit.

I’m still angry at this slight. However, I believe I have to follow the lead of others. A group of sound designers and composers in New York City are hosting the Collaborator Party on Tony Night. They are celebrating the very thing that seems to be ignored by the Tony Committee -- that it takes everyone to make a production. I think this is a great idea. How many people work in our art doing incredible things and never get recognized except by their peers? This party brings everyone together and celebrates the community that works together to make magic.

If you can’t be in New York to participate, why not have a Collaborator Party in your town? If you were already having a gathering for the Tony’s, then focus on the teamwork involved in your community. Rather than let this ignorance of one dimension of our art put us in a negative mood, let’s be positive and show that we value one another. Celebrate collaboration on June 7.

USITT is helping sponsor the event’s live feed which will bring the party to anywhere collaboration in production is happening.

I hope that each Tony winner this year will recognize their sound designer since the Broadway League won’t. If no one else will recognize our fellow artists, we should at least recognize ourselves and appreciate the true collaboration that brings the vitality to what we do.