The Rhode Island Theater Awards, sponsored and produced by a team at Motif magazine, have a little less than two months to find a new venue.
The event was to take place at McVinney Auditorium, a venue owned and operated by the diocese of Providence. Last year’s event in this location was a rousing success, with roughly 500 local members of the theater community celebrating their art and performing a number of musical revues.
This year, after committing to host the show again, the diocese has withdrawn their commitment. “There’s an agreement over here that it’s not the right fit,” the diocese conveyed in their only official communication on Friday, June 14. Public affairs, press relations and community outreach officers for the Diocese did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The retraction of their commitment came in the wake of an op-ed published online by Motif, written by contributor Kevin Broccoli, which was highly critical of Bishop Tobin’s recent tweet regarding the dangers of allowing children to attend Rhode Island PRIDE celebrations.
Motif began promoting this year’s RI Theater Awards in March. At the time of this statement, there is no new location for the celebration, which has been held since 2008 and recognizes excellence in local theater.