The Tony Awards Administration will present Special Tony Awards to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, “David Byrne’s American Utopia” and “Freestyle Love Supreme.”
The Special Tony Awards are given to “outstanding productions, artists, and organizations that do not fall into any of the competitive categories.” The awards will be presented as part of the Tony Awards ceremony honoring the 2019-2020 season on Sept. 26, according to a spokesperson.
Improv musical and hip-hop show “Freestyle Love Supreme” and “American Utopia,” which features David Byrne and 11 musicians, both held Broadway runs in the 2019-2020 season and are planning to return this fall. “Freestyle Love Supreme,” created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale, will return to the Booth Theatre in October and “American Utopia” will play the St. James Theatre starting Sept. 17.
Founded in 2016, non-profit advocacy organization Broadway Advocacy Coalition has grown its efforts during the pandemic and has hosted a series of digital programming in which members of the industry spoke about experiences racism in the workplace and the need to create a more equitable environment. The group, founded by Jackie Bell, Amber Iman, Cameron J Ross, Britton Smith, Adrienne Warren and Christian Dante White, recently announced a new program to help cast members and productions address equity and safety concerns before reopening.
“The Broadway Advocacy Coalition has provided an unparalleled platform for marginalized members of our theatre community and tools to help us all do better as we strive for equity. The two productions we are honoring, ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ and ‘Freestyle Love Supreme,’ take theatre to the next level, delivering outside-of-the-box presentations that have gone beyond the stage and brought theatre into the homes of millions of people around the world,” said Heather Hitchens, chief executive and president of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League.
The postponed Tony Awards ceremony is set to take place in a two-part event airing across different CBS platforms. A presentation of awards will air at 7 p.m. EST Sept 26. on Paramount+. At 9 p.m. EST, CBS will air a special entitled “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” which will feature performances from the Tony-nominated Best Musicals and a live presentation of the Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical.