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NY Innovative Theatre Awards Open Nominations in Honorary Categories

To celebrate the resilience of the city’s Off-Off-Broadway/indie theatres, the awards will focus on lifting up artists and companies rather than productions.

NEW YORK CITY: The New York Innovative Theatre Awards, which for the past 17 years have celebrated New York City’s independent theatre artists for their work in the Off-Off-Broadway/indie theatre realm, is now accepting applications for its 2020-21 Honorary Awards. This year the NYITA will present its 2021 awards in a modified capacity, focusing on the non-production-based “Honorary Awards.” Awards will be presented in six different categories, including the Caffe Cino Award, the Ellen Stewart Award, the Artistic Achievement Award, the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, the Outstanding Stage Manager Award, and the Indie Theatre Champion Award. Two of these awards, the Caffe Cino and Doric Wilson Independent Playwright award, come with financial grants.

The news comes after NYITA organization announced a pandemic-related pause to review their 2019-2020 awards season and begin an evaluation of the company’s structure. The organization was able to expand its committee membership, review transparency and equitable process for the honorary awards, and continue its ongoing work towards improving its structures and removing barriers for inclusive involvement. Co-executive directors Cat Parker, Jazmyn Arroyo, and Akia Squitieri also spent this time working with the award committee members to create a way to celebrate the “indie theatre artist spirit” in a year when live, in-person productions have been largely impossible. The solution: Honorary Awards, which will celebrate individual artists and companies for their bodies of work and long-standing contributions to the indie community.

Among the many previously given awards, this year marks the inauguration of the Indie Theatre Champion Award. The Champion Award will celebrate individuals, groups, businesses, or organizations who have risen to the occasion and helped the indie theatre community during the pandemic, industry and economic crises, and the continued fight against white supremacy. Also unique this year: the ability for artists and theatremakers to self-nominate for the Outstanding Stage Manager and Doric Wilson Independent Playwriting award categories. In previous years, these two awards categories were closed to either peer/producer or committee nominations for eligibility.

Application forms are now available here, and materials will be accepted until June 20th, 2021.

The New York Innovative Theatre Foundation is a nonprofit organization recognizing the great work of New York City’s Off-Off-Broadway/independent theatre artists, honoring its artistic heritage, and providing a meeting ground for this extensive and richly varied community.

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ADV – Billboard