Jeff Awards To Honor Annual Non-Equity Theater With Virtual Celebration
The Chicago theater community's annual awards recognizing non-Equity theater productions will be presented in a virtual format on Monday, June 8, 2020. In preparation for this program, the 2020 non-Equity nominations will be publicly announced, as previously planned, on Tuesday, April 28. To protect the health and safety of the community and comply with government guidelines on public gatherings, this new format is the first time in Jeff Awards history that awards for theater excellence will be shared through a free online program. Information on accessing the program will be available in early June.
Non-Equity Chicago theater company productions eligible for 2020 Jeff Awards consideration were staged from April 1, 2019 through March 13, 2020. Traditionally the eligibility period is April 1 through March 31; however, due to the COVID19 outbreak, the eligibility period ended with the theater community's cancellation of shows after March 13. To make as many productions as possible available for awards consideration during these unprecedented times, requirements on the length of the run for productions that opened prior to March 13 were also relaxed.
Details on the awards categories and nominations for this year's 47th awards program will be released at the end of April. During the month of May, members of the Jeff Awards will vote on nominations, and the results will be tallied to determine the final award recipients who will be announced during the virtual program on June 8.
"Celebrating creativity and promoting excellence is always important, particularly in these challenging times that are having a significant impact on our arts community," said Jeff Awards Chair John Glover. "Our goal with the annual awards programs is to bring entertainment, unity and celebration to Chicago, so this year we had to get a little more creative on how to connect with everyone. Our team is working safely and remotely to produce a virtual event that honors not only the 2020 nominees and award recipients but celebrates the entire theater community and its resilience even during these formidable and difficult times."
Promoting excellence in Chicago theater, The Jeff Awards began its annual recognition program in 1968. In 1973, it expanded its scope to establish the Non-Equity Wing to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theater. Members include 55 individuals representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theater (including producers, directors, actors, playwrights, designers, professors of theater, entertainment lawyers and agents, and theater lovers), the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. Opening night judges include both the members as well as Artistic and Technical theater volunteers (the "AT Team"), representing Artistic Directors, producers, directors and artists from Chicago theaters. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theater companies and artists, and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theater community. Each year, the Jeff Awards judges over 300 theatrical productions and hosts two awards ceremonies.
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