The Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers covering New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers, national publications, and other media, has announced that it will add two new categories to its annual theatre awards—Outstanding Sound Design and Outstanding Orchestrations—in 2017 for the first time.
The OCC Awards recognize achievement both Off-Broadway and on. Outer Critics Circle President Simon Saltzman said the new awards are being added to “recognize and celebrate high quality work in these fields which contribute to the success of so many productions.”
Both award categories have been the subject of controversy in the New York theatre world in recent years. The city's most prominent theatre awards, the Tonys, discontinued the award for sound design in 2015. The Drama Desk Awards announced it was eliminating the category of Outstanding Orchestrations in 2012, but quickly reinstated it after an outcry from the community.
This year’s nominations in 27 Outer Critics Circle Award categories will be announced April 25, making them the first major Broadway/Off-Broadway Awards of the 2016–17 season, other than the Pulitzer Prize, which will be announced April 10.