Special Tony Awards Announced For Broadway Advocacy Coalition, ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’, ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’

Special Tony Awards Announced For Broadway Advocacy Coalition, ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’, ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’

June 22, 2021

Special Tony Awards will be presented in September to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, David Byrne’s American Utopia and Freestyle Love Supreme, the awards administration committee announced today.

Special Tony Awards are presented to outstanding productions, artists and organizations who do not fall into any of the competitive categories.

In a joint statement, Heather Hitchens, CEO and President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said that 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,” while Utopia and Freestyle “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.”

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The BAC is an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to “building the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to use storytelling to dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism.” The organization was founded in 2016 by several Black members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation’s pandemic of racism and police brutality, and has since grown into a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community advocates to create lasting impact and collaborations on policy issues ranging from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration.

In American Utopia, former Talking Heads frontman Byrne is joined by 11 musicians from around the globe in what the committee describes as “a jubilant celebration of live music, community, and connection.” American Utopia began as an album released by Byrne in 2018, and later that year was launched into a theatrical concert tour, eventually landing on on Broadway in 2019-2020. The show returns to Broadway September 17.

Freestyle Love Supreme, created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale, was developed in the basement of The Drama Bookshop in 2004 and slowly worked its way to Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 2019. Directed by Kail, the acclaimed show features a comedic improvisational musical structure, and a rotating cast; Freestyle Love Supreme will return to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement at the Booth on Thursday, October 7 through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be a two-hour, streaming-only ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 26, available on ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ platform and followed immediately by a special two-hour CBS broadcast special called The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!

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