IT Awards Announce Big Changes to Nominee Announcement 

By Doug Strassler 

There are some significant changes to the way that the nominee notifications will be done this year. Doug Strassler talked with Executive Director Nick Micozzi to learn about these changes.

IT: There are going to be some significant changes to nominee announcement this year.

NM: It's pretty exciting - there are two big changes: 1) Nobody will know who the nominees are until they are announced at the party on the 18th, and 2) we're cutting the admission price in half down to only $10. Since were not informing the nominees in advance, were not giving out any comps to the nom party this year.* But to off-set that, admission will only be $10.

IT: It is pretty common knowledge that the nominees are informed privately in advance of the public announcement. How is that going to be different this year?

NM: We won't be calling any nominees in advance this year. The nominations will be completely secret until July 18th. We initially envisioned the nominee announcement event to be a celebration of the season for the entire indie theatre community. Announcing the nominees publicly for the first time at the party was an opportunity for us to invite the press and build excitement. We know that being recognized by your peers can be a very exciting and fulfilling moment. In previous years we notified nominees privately in advance of the public announcement so that they could attend and since it was also a press conference, we wanted to make sure they would be present to meet with press, get photos, and take interviews.

It also gave us some extra lead time to collect photos and info from the nominees for the hundreds of individual press releases we send out on their behalf to their hometown media, alumni press, etc. However, what the event was missing was that wonderful moment of surprise. So this year we're trying something different and not telling anyone if they are nominated. You have to come to the official public announcement to find out!

IT: What precipitated these changes?

NM: Every year we re-evaluate our events. We solicit feedback from the community, our staff and board to make improvements and keep things fresh and exciting. This was something that we kept hearing over and over; that the announcement should be a surprise.

For the last 3 years the nom party has kicked off Indie Theatre Week and we love that it has started to take on that sense of community celebration that was our original intention. We hope that by now people know about the event and look forward to it because it brings so many of our community together. And maybe a true surprise for all will create an even more exciting, meaningful event.

IT: How do you think that these changes will affect the event?

NM: For one thing, everyone in the room will be truly surprised. We expect an even higher level of excitement and celebration. We're also hoping that this will bring in even more people, so more OOB artists have a chance to meet one another and spark collaboration. We usually have about 500 people there, but the more the merrier!

Our Awards system allows OOB companies and artists to participate for free and that's very important to us but we still have vendors and event space rental to pay. A fundraiser like the nominee announcement party allows everyone in OOB a chance to meet, greet, and party all while we showcase the great work being done in this, the most vibrant theatre sector in the world.

And hey - ten bucks for a party like this is pretty amazing.

SAVE THE DATE: 2011 Nominee Announcement Monday, July 18th more details to follow.

What do you think of these changes?  Let us know.

* comps will still be offered to nominees and a guest to the award ceremony in September


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