Producers behind the 2016 Tony Awards are dedicating Sunday's (12Jun16) ceremony to the victims of this weekend's Florida club massacre.
Fifty people have been confirmed dead, while another 53 were injured when a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, in the early hours of Sunday.
The tragedy is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and authorities are currently investigating the incident as a domestic terror incident, after naming the suspect as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, a man who had allegedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a call to emergency services before embarking on the horrific attack.
In light of the shooting, Tony Awards bosses have chosen to honour the victims by dedicating their New York prizegiving to those affected by the massacre.
"Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando," producers expressed in a statement issued on Sunday morning. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight's ceremony to them."
In addition, producers of hit musical Hamilton, have decided not to use fake muskets during their performance of the historical hip-hop musical, which takes place during the era of the American Revolutionary War.
Hamilton is going into the prizegiving as a favourite, with a record-breaking 16 nominations, including best musical.
Officials at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas also reacted to the deadly incident by cancelling a panel discussion about violence on TV. The Sunday event, titled Viewer Discretion Advised, had been due to feature guests including Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, Jack Amiel from The Knick, and Noah Hawley from Fargo.
Meanwhile, Gloria Estefan, who is set to grace the Tonys stage at the Beacon Theatre, took to Instagram.com to share her sadness at the "senseless" attack, which occurred two days after singer Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice, was shot and killed following a concert at Orlando's Plaza Live Theater on Friday night (10Jun16).
"My heart breaks for the friends and families of the souls whose lives were taken by two senseless acts of violence in two days in Orlando, Florida, a place I consider my home," she wrote.
"As these massacres become commonplace it becomes even more important for us to love each other as much as humanly possible and to never lose hope that we can somehow make things better. Love will always win and lead us through the darkness into the light... May the souls of the victims rest in peace."
The Tony Awards, which celebrate the best of Broadway, will be broadcast live in the U.S. from the Beacon Theatre, where James Corden will serve as event host.