87th ANNUAL DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS Nominations Announced

Theatre
Ratatouille: A TikTok Musical (Photo Credit: Seaview Productions); Circle Jerk, from Fake Friends (Photo Credit: Michael Breslin); Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald in Take Me To The World (Photo Credit: Paul Wontorek)
By
Zack Reiser
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on
March 29, 2021 8:00 PM
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News

The Drama League has announced the 2021 Nominees and Special Recognition Honorees for The 87th Annual Drama League Awards. Keeping in the tradition of honoring the outstanding accomplishments of the theatrical community, as they have since 1935, this year the organization has established five unique categories to honor the extraordinary achievements of artists across the nation who created digital and socially-distanced theatrical productions during this challenging year of suspension for live arts. The list of nominations follows; voting is now open for Drama League members, through April 16. The 87th Annual Drama League Awards will be streamed on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7:00PM ET.

The 33 nominated productions were selected from submissions by 400+ directors and theatre professionals who are the alumni of The Drama League’s support programs for directors. There are five categories of distinction: Outstanding Digital Theater, Individual Production; Outstanding Digital Theater, Collection or Festival; Outstanding Interactive or Socially-Distanced Theater; Outstanding Audio Theater Production; and Outstanding Digital Concert. Eligible productions premiered between March 12, 2020 – March 15, 2021.

The Drama League Awards’ 2021 Special Recognition Honorees are: Iris Smith, who will receive the inaugural Gratitude Award for her fearless support of the The Drama League and the theater community at large; Liesl Tommy, who will be presented with the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing for her extraordinary work on stages across the country and commitment to mentorship in the field; father daughter duo Richard & Demi Weitz, who will be honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award for their creation of the “Quarantunes” series, which provides a virtual platform for musical theater artists and generated over $20 million in funds for nonprofits across the country; and The Actors Fund, recipient of the Unique Contribution to Theater Award for its emergency relief efforts through COVID-19, the Winter Storms, and Oregon Wildfires this past season and its ongoing commitment to providing resources for artists.


NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2021 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS


OUTSTANDING DIGITAL THEATER, INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTION


Belly of the Beast

Directed by Lisa Rothe

Written by Margaret Vandenburg

Daniel Dae Kim/3AD, in partnership with TodayTix and New York Theatre Workshop (New York, NY)

https://www.nytw.org/show/the-belly-of-the-beast-one-night-only/


Circle Jerk

Conceived and Written by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley

in Collaboration with Cat Rodriguez and Ariel Sibert

Directed by Rory Pelsue

Produced by Caroline Gart

Fake Friends (New York, NY)

https://circlejerk.live


Disclaimer

Written by Tara Ahmadinejad

Directed by Jeff Wood & Tara Ahmadinejad

Created by Piehole

The Public Theater (New York, NY)

https://publictheater.org/productions/season/2021/utr-2021/disclaimer/


Don't Stay Safe

Book and Lyrics by Cheryl L. Davis, Music by Douglas J. Cohen

Directed by Christina Franklin

Prospect Theater Company (New York, NY)

https://www.prospecttheater.org/visionseries-dont-stay-safe


Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!

Written by Vivian J.O. Barnes

Directed by Weyni Mengesha

Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL)

https://www.steppenwolf.org/tickets--events/steppenwolf-now/2020-21/duchess-duchess-duchess/


The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels In America

Written by Tony Kushner

Directed by Ellie Heyman

Presented by amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research)

https://www.thegreatworkbegins.org


GRIMMZ Fairy Tales

Written by Christopher Parks, Rahsheem Shabazz, and Ron Lee McGill

Directed by Christopher Parks

Children's Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

https://ctcharlotte.org/online/


Heroes of the Fourth Turning

Written by Will Arbery

Directed by Blanka Zizka

Wilma Theater (Philadelphia, PA)

https://wilmatheater.org/event/heroes-of-the-fourth-turning/


Last Gasp

Written by Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw

Directed by Lois Weaver

Split Britches (New York, NY)

https://www.split-britches.com/last-gasp


The Last 5 Years

Written and Composed by Jason Robert Brown

Directed by Jason Michael Webb

Out Of The Box Theatrics (New York, NY)

https://www.ootbtheatrics.com/l5y


What Do They Call Us

Created and Directed by Qween Jean

Ars Nova (New York, NY)

https://arsnovanyc.com/VR-DM-QweenJean


Where Did We Sit on the Bus?

Written by Brian Quijada

Directed by Matt Dickson

A digital creation by Satya Chávez and Matt Dickson

Actors Theatre of Louisville (Louisville, KY)

https://www.actorstheatre.org/shows/2020-2021/where-did-we-sit-on-the-bus/


OUTSTANDING DIGITAL THEATER, COLLECTION OR FESTIVAL


1MOVE: DES19NED BY...

Created by Alan C. Edwards, Brittany Bland, Christopher Darbassie, Dominique Fawn Hill, Kameron Neal, Mika Eubanks, Nehprii Amenii, nicHi douglas, Nikiya Mathis, Qween Jean, Ramaj Jamar, Taylor Lilly, Teniece Divya Johnson, Teresa L. Williams, Twi McCallum, Ao Li, Chen-Wei Liao, Dina El-Aziz, Edurne Fernandez, Kimie Nishikawa, María Feuereisen, Megumi Katayama, Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, Omar Madkour, Reza Behjat, Riw Rakkulchon, Rodrigo Muñoz, Stefania Bulbarella, Wenzheng (Wen) Zhang, and Yee Eun Nam

Co-Curated by Dede Ayite, Stacey Derosier, Clint Ramos, Cha See, and Paul Tazewell

The Movement Theatre Company (New York, NY)

https://www.themovementtheatrecompany.org/1move


AFO Solo Shorts (Round 1 and 2)

Written, created, and directed by Veronica Barron, Beaudau Karel Banks, Eliza Bent, Ellarose Chary, Jody Christopherson, Jasmine Eileen Coles, Kendra Cui, Darian Dauchan, Toni Ann DeNoble, Tayna Everett, Gina Femia, Nela Fortunato, Raz Golden, Nathan Gebhard, Charles Gershman, Kathryn Grody, Brandon James Gwinn, Katie Melby, Matthew Paul Olmos, Erika Sheffer, Casey Alexander Smith, William Steinberger, Melissa Tien, Rhys Tivey, Emily Waters, Sybil Wigglesworth, Zonia, Tsang Lok Sze

All For One Theater (New York, NY)

https://www.afo.nyc/afo-solo-shorts


The Manic Monologues

Originally Created by Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister

Virtual Experience Conceived and Directed by Elena Araoz

McCarter Theater Center in collaboration with Princeton University Health Services, The 24 Hour Plays, and Innovations in Socially Distant Performance at the Lewis Center for the Arts (Princeton, NJ)

https://www.mccarter.org/manicmonologues


The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration and Influence

Written by Adrienne Kennedy (Sleep Deprivation Chamber by Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy)

Directed by Raymond O. Caldwell, Timothy Douglas, Valerie Curtis-Newton, and Nicole A. Watson

Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD) in association with McCarter Theater Center (Princeton, NJ);

Conceived by Nicole A. Watson

https://www.roundhousetheatre.org/


Theater in Quarantine

Created by founder Joshua William Gelb (New York, NY) and Katie Rose McLaughlin (New York, NY)

http://www.youtube.com/theaterinquarantine


OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE OR SOCIALLY-DISTANCED THEATER


American Dreams

Written by Leila Buck

Directed by Tamilla Woodard

Created and developed by Leila Buck and Tamilla Woodard with Jens Rasmussen,

in collaboration with Osh Ghanimah, Imran Sheikh, and the company

Working Theater (New York, NY)

https://theworkingtheater.org/events/american-dreams/


Carla's Quince

Created by The Voting Project (Ashley Alvarez, Galia Backal, Yadira De La Riva, Jorge Donoso, Estefanía Fadul, Michael León, María Peyramaure, Camila Pérez Santiago, and Christina Watanabe)

Directed by Estefanía Fadul

With guest artists Jason Aguirre (tech facilitator), Jamie Salinger (stage manager), Haydee Zelideth

(costume consultant), and Sebastian Zuniga (performer)

https://www.carlasquince.com


*Trigger warning - references to racial violence

Fort Worth Lynching Tour: Honoring the Memory of Mr. Fred Rouse

Concept and Choreography: Adam W. McKinney

Director: Daniel Banks

App Design: Digital Ant Media

Music by: Third Wind Productions/Maritri Garrett and David Winder

Graphic Design: Troy Lambert

Tintype Photography: Will Wilson

Guest Artists: Edykah Chilome, Julienne Greer, Sedrick Huckaby, Jordan Jones, Opal Lee, Pastor Kyev P. Tatum, Sr.

Associate Producer: Jiles King; Production Associate: NaTasha Thompson; Production Manager: Jamelyn Ebelacker; Production Assistant: Lauren Huynh; Sound Engineering: Michael Billow and Gregg Powers

A DNAWORKS Production (Fort Worth, TX)

https://www.dnaworks.org/fwlt


Package Play

Created and Performed by Katie Farmin

Tricklock Company (Albuquerque, NM)

http://www.tricklock.com/packageplay/


7 Deadly Sins

Written by Hilary Bettis, Nilo Cruz, Moisés Kaufman, Rogelio Martinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Carmen Pelaez, and Aurin Squire

Conceived and directed by Michel Hausmann

Miami New Drama (Miami Beach, FL)

https://www.miaminewdrama.org/7deadlysins


A Thousand Ways (Part One)

Created by 600 HIGHWAYMEN | Abigail Browde & Michael Silverstone (Brooklyn, NY)

ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann, Executive Producer

http://www.600highwaymen.org/a-thousand-ways/


Wild Thyme

Written by Liz Duffy Adams

Produced by West Hyler and Shelley Butler

Artistic Stamp (New York, NY)

https://artisticstamp.com/tickets.html


BEST AUDIO THEATER PRODUCTION


G.O.A.T.

Written by Ngozi Anyanwu

Directed by Whitney White

Playing On Air (Hillsdale, NY)

https://playingonair.org/new-releases/goat


OUTTAKES

Written by Qui Nguyen

Directed by May Adrales

Playwrights Horizons (New York, NY)

https://www.playwrightshorizons.org/shows/trailers/outtakes-qui-nguyen/


The Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club

Written by Shakina Nayfack

Directed by Laura Savia

Williamstown Theatre Festival (Williamstown, MA) and Audible

https://wtfestival.org/main-events/chonburi-international-hotel-butterfly-club/


Prime: A Practical Breviary

Written, Composed and Performed by Heather Christian

Playwrights Horizons (New York, NY)

https://www.playwrightshorizons.org/shows/trailers/prime-practical-breviary-heather-christian/


Tiger Style!

Written by Mike Lew

Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel

Huntington Theatre Company and WGBH Radio (Boston, MA)

https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/tiger-style


OUTSTANDING DIGITAL CONCERT PRODUCTION


BREATHING FREE, a visual album

featuring excerpts from Beethoven’s Fidelio, Negro Spirituals, and songs by Harry T. Burleigh, Florence Price, Langston Hughes, Anthony Davis, and Thulani Davis

Heartbeat Opera, NYC

www.heartbeatopera.org/breathing-free


Myths and Hymns (Chapters 1 and 2)

Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel

Conceived and supervised by Ted Sperling

Directed by Greg Anderson, Sammi Cannold, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Lear deBessonet, Khristian Dentley, Doug Fitch, Anne Kauffman, and Ted Sperling

Presented by Mastervoices

https://www.mastervoices.org/


Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical

Conceived by The #RatatouilleMusical Community

Featuring Work by Danny Bernstein, Gabbi Bolt, Kevin Chamberlin, RJ Christian, Nathan Fosbinder, Emily Jacobsen, Sophia James, Katie Johantgen, Daniel Mertzlufft, Alec Powell, Blake Rouse and Jessica Siswick

Adapted for the stage by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley

Directed by Lucy Moss

Presented by Seaview

https://ratatousical.com/


Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Produced by Stephen Sondheim, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Bill Curran, Raúl Esparza, John Gore and Paul Wontorek

Directed by Paul Wontorek


Benefit for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty)

https://www.broadway.com/sondheim90/


2021 SPECIAL RECOGNITION DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS


Gratitude Award Honoree

Iris Smith


The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing Honoree

Liesl Tommy


Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Honoree

Richard & Demi Weitz


Unique Contribution to Theater Award Honoree

The Actors Fund


https://dramaleague.org/2021-nominees/

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Zack Reiser

Zack Reiser has a passion for theatre, cooking, and music. With professional experience in various roles in the Broadway community, he could tell you how theatre works from the front of the house to the back of the stage. He’s been with the Theatrely team since 2019.