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When the 2023 Tony Awards were in limbo, an advertising leader weighed the possibilities and impact

In mid-May, the fate of the Tony Awards was up in the air. Here’s what one Broadway advertising executive was thinking.

Jeremy Kraus (Credit: Courtesy of Situation Interactive)

From May 12-14, industry professionals spent their weekend on calls with Broadway colleagues about the 2023 Tony Awards. At the time, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike had been going for 10 days and it was clear it would not be over by June 11, the date of the Tony Awards broadcast. Leaders were speculating about the Tony management committee’s May 15 emergency meeting that was called as a result of the ongoing strike.

Many expected the committee to decide on an alternative plan for the Tonys since the telecast could not take place unless the strike ended or the union granted the Tonys a special waiver. But after the meeting, little had changed. No news had broken.

In light of a reported denial of the Tonys’ initial request for a waiver, sources familiar with the matter had told Broadway News previously that a few options were on the table: 1) an untelevised ceremony; 2) a scaled-down televised program; or 3) a postponement of the awards altogether.

Postponement was seeming less likely, but the Tonys and all who work on them were in uncertain territory. In the midst of the unknown, Broadway News spoke to Jeremy Kraus, a managing partner at the digital marketing agency Situation Interactive, about how he and the firm were thinking about ad campaigns, contingency plans and more. For a firm representing Tony-nominated shows such as “Some Like It Hot,” “Kimberly Akimbo” and “Shucked,” what was on their mind?

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