Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Drama Desk Teases Us That It Cares About Off-Off-Broadway Once Again

The Drama Desk, of which I am a member, announced yesterday the names of the nominators for the 2007-08 season. Seems perfectly fine -- even some nifty names on the list, like my IT Awards colleague Dan Bacalzo, my Back Stage freelancer Gerard Raymond, and Richard Ridge of Broadway Beat -- but let's be honest: the Drama Desk makes all the pretense of considering Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway equally, but in reality, Off-Off-Broadway productions are generally not nominated, certainly aren't seen by vast majority of the voting membership, and they win almost nothing, ever. The situation used to be even more egregious a few years ago, and when I, not being one of the exalted, fawning fauns in the distinguished orbit of the nominating chair, dared to raise this as an issue on the Drama Desk's listserve, I was told to go take a hike. OOB should be worried about the lack of journalistic coverage out there, but it should be terribly upset by this as well.

Dear Drama Desk Member:

On behalf of the Drama Desk, President William Wolf and Nominating Chairperson Barbara Siegel are pleased to announce the 2007-2008 Drama Desk Nominating Committee. It is the mission of the Nominating Committee to cover the rich and varied offerings of the New York theater in an effort to nominate the season's most outstanding work To that end, the committee members meet frequently throughout the season so that shows seen at this time of year will be evaluated on equal footing with the productions evaluated in the Spring of 2008.

All of the nominators make an enormous time commitment in order to present a carefully considered slate to the full membership. There are three returning Nominators: Tony Phillips, Richard Ridge, and Chairperson Barbara Siegel and four new members: Dan Bacalzo, Robert Cashill, Celia Ipiotis, and Gerard Raymond.

The 2007-2008 Nominators and their affiliations follow:

Barbara Siegel (Chairperson), TalkinBroadway.com; TheaterMania.com
Dan Bacalzo, TheaterMania.com
Robert Cashill, New York Theater News; Live Design
Celia Ipiotis, Eye on the Arts
Tony Phillips, Edge New York
Gerard Raymond, Backstage; The Advocate
Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV

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