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Theatre Bay Area Cancels Annual Awards

The organization has suspended its awards program until 2021, and will focus on reevaluating and restructuring to better serve its community.

SAN FRANCISCO: Theatre Bay Area (TBA) has announced that it will not hold its annual awards ceremony this year, neither in person nor virtually, marking the first time in history that the TBA Awards Ceremony has been canceled. This choice is a departure from other awards ceremonies that have decided to go virtual this year. TBA intends to include eligible 2019-20 productions in its 2021 celebration.

“The decision to cancel the ceremony was an extremely difficult one,” said Theatre Bay Area deputy director Dale Albright in a statement. “Because of the shutdown of live productions and continued uncertainty surrounding live events, we felt that the best solution was to pause the whole awards program.”

During this pause, which will see the awards program suspended until April 2021, TBA will be working with the community to restructure and reevaluate the program. These efforts will involve working to enhance demographic representation and correcting systemic issues within the program. Some changes will include revising adjudicator application processes and creating more equitable adjudication rules and practices, analyzing the judging and voting processes, and learning how to better recognize work that has been neglected in the past (ex. stage management and production staff).

“Since it was introduced, the TBA awards program has been an integral part of Theatre Bay Area’s presence and contribution to Bay Area theatre,” said programs manager Kimberley Cohan in a statement. “We want this program to truly be representative of the wide array of talent that Northern California has to offer.”

In pursuit of these goals, TBA will host sever community events, inviting direct engagement with TBA staff to discuss potential changes to the program. The first event was held on Oct. 28 and the next session will occur on Nov. 18. The events are free, though donations are encouraged.

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