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News

Drama Desk Awards Postponed Due to New York Protests

06.01.20

BY: ELIZABETH DURAND STREISAND

The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards, which had already shifted to a remote TV special due to COVID-19, were postponed outright just hours before their schedule air time last night to allow NY1 to focus on breaking news coverage of ongoing protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers. The awards, which are largely considered to be a precursor to the Tonys (much like the Golden Globes are to the Oscars), will air on an as-of-now unspecified date. Unlike the Tonys, however, the Drama Desk Awards honor achievements not only in Broadway, but also off-Broadway and even off-off-Broadway.

“The Drama Desk celebrates all that’s outstanding in the work of New York’s diverse theater artists and craftspeople,” Drama Desk co-presidents Charles Wright and David Barbour said in a joint-statement on May 31. “We regret the postponement of our awards ceremony tonight, but as an organization committed to the principle that all voices must be heard, we stand together with our black colleagues against the racial injustice and violence in our nation and city. We are grateful to Spectrum NY1 News for its comprehensive news coverage of this painful moment.”

Meanwhile, many Broadway shows and artists took to social media to share their feelings over the unfolding events. Lin-Manuel Miranda posted a video to Hamilton musical’s Instagram to apologize for his own failings. “We spoke out on the day of the Pulse shooting. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. But that we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systemic racism and white supremacy on our official Hamilton channels is a moral failure on our part,” Miranda shared. “As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure.” He went on to say he was sorry for “not pushing harder and faster” for us to speak these self-evident truths under the Hamilton banner.

Ain’t Too Proud shared a page from its book, noting that history was repeating.

Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King both posted a clear, direct message on a solid black background.

Come From Away wrote, “A candle’s in the window. We stand together. Black lives matter,” alongside an illustration of a candle against a blue background.

Tony-winning Hadestown noted, “In the words of Orpheus, “with each other we are stronger than we know.” The show then shared a statement of its core values.

Fellow Best Musical winner Dear Evan Hansen wrote, “You are not alone. Find out how you can stay informed, take action, and move toward justice at the link in our bio” alongside an affirmation of their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Newcomer (and Drama Desk nominee) Jagged Little Pill posted a simple message: Wake Up.

Newcomers West Side Story, Girl From the North Country and Mrs. Doubtfire, along with Moulin Rouge, Book of Mormon, Phantom of the Opera, and Chicago all shared a direct message on a black background.

@northcountrybroadway

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reiterated, “We must all stand for what is right” and urged followers to donate to the NAACP.

The Patti Lupone-starring revival of Company noted, “Alone is alone, not alive. Please support donate and change. Take action at the links in our bio. You are not alone.”

Diana: A True Musical Story shared a quote from the late Princess Diana that said, “The greatest problem in the world today is intolerance.”

Six, which was set to open the night Broadway’s closure went into effect. shared a powerful message.

Wicked specifically cited the need to end police brutality in its post on 5/31.

Mean Girls wrote, “Let us be unambiguous. The members of our organization stand united against systemic racism in America. We vow to take action as a company and as individuals” alongside a post that echoed these sentiments.

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical declared, “We stand in solidarity with our black and brown brothers and sisters,” encouraging “Strength through support, and sharing an image that reiterated these sentiments.