Tony Awards officials dropping two categories for sound design

Tony Awards officials dropping two categories for sound design
Hugh Jackman at the 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sunday. (Theo Wargo / Getty Images North America)

Organizers of the annual Tony Awards will be saving a bit of money on medallions in future ceremonies. Organizers said Wednesday they are dropping two categories — sound design of a play and of a musical.

The Tony Awards Administration Committee said special Tonys may be awarded in the future to productions when it determines that "extraordinary sound design has been achieved."

At recent ceremonies, the technical and writing awards were presented during off-air time, including commercial breaks. The Tonys have faced criticism over the decision to relegate the "In Memoriam" montage of notable deaths to off-air time, though the montage was later posted online.

The committee also said this week that it is changing the rules regarding writers of shows that have not previously been seen on Broadway but are deemed to be revivals because they are part of the popular repertoire. (This season, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" fell into this rubric.)

Along with producers, the writers of these shows will now be eligible to be nominated for the categories of best revival of a play or a musical.

The New York Times reported that the Tony organizers have also decided to allow greater leeway for shows to send promotional items — the swag — to award nominators and voters. In the past, shows were limited in the type of promotional items they could send. Permitted items included scripts, audio and video excerpts, souvenir booklets and review excerpts.

Producers will now be able to use their own discretion in promoting their shows for Tony consideration.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT