Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, who collaborated as sound designers for the limited fall Broadway engagement of The Encounter, will receive special honors at the 2017 Tony Awards on June 11. The show, written and directed by and starring Simon McBurney, utilized headphones to provide audiences an intimate, environmental depiction of the Amazon rainforest.
The announcement comes hot off the heels of the Tony Awards Administration Committee’s decision to reinstate the Best Sound Design of a Musical and Play categories, beginning in the 2017–2018 season. The categories were first introduced at the Tonys in 2008 and subsequently eliminated in 2014.
The Encounter is currently playing its final U.S. engagement at the Curran in San Francisco; performances are scheduled to run through May 7.
“Gareth and Pete take the audience on a journey in The Encounter that is infused by the intimacy of sound, and the intricacies of that involvement were executed beautifully,” said American Theatre Wing President Heather Hitchens and Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin in a joint statement. “They have created another dimension of the live theatrical experience, and we are thrilled to honor their work.”
Fry won Olivier Awards for his sound design on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Black Watch, and Waves. Malkin worked with Fry previously as an associate sound designer for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; his additional credits include Phyllida Lloyd’s The Tempest.
As previously announced, this year's additional honorary Tony recipients are James Earl Jones, Baayork Lee, Nina Lannan, and Alan Wasser. The 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award will go to Dallas Theater Center.