65th Annual Drama Desk Awards Postponed Out of Regard for Ongoing Protests in New York

Photo: Drama Desk Awards

After forgoing a physical awards ceremony for a remotely produced television special due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 65th annual Drama Desk Awards, which were set to air this evening, have been postponed due to the ongoing protests in New York and across the country, sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of four police officers. The awards, which honor Broadway, Off Broadway and Off–Off Broadway theater productions, and their would-be host channel, Spectrum News NY1, have opted to push the special back to an as-yet-unspecified date, citing “breaking-news events in New York this weekend.”

“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 statement Sunday. “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 News NY1 for its comprehensive news coverage of this painful moment.”

Update June 1, 10:45 a.m.: After the Drama Desks postponed their event, two other New York theater events planned for this week followed suit. Late on Sunday, May 31, the Public Theater said it would postpone its virtual gala, planned for June 1, to a later date, saying “in this time of national trauma, when the COVID crisis has so disproportionately impacted the Black community, when the injustices of our way of life have been made so clear, it just feels wrong for us to sail ahead with our event.” On Monday, June 1, Broadway On Demand, a new theater-focused streaming service, said it would postpone its own event, planned to replace Tony night on June 7. “Our goal as an organization is to create a platform where underrepresented voices can be amplified and uplifted,” president Sean Cercone said in a statement. “That is why it is of the utmost importance that the programs we deliver adhere to these beliefs and reflect the world in which we live.”

Drama Desk Awards Postponed Out of Regard for NYC Protests