Winners Announced for 87th Annual DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS
The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks; Executive Director, Bevin Ross) announced the winners of The 87th Annual Drama League Awards. The ceremony streamed worldwide through the interactive Awards Room platform on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7:00PM ET.
Keeping in the tradition of honoring the outstanding accomplishments of the theatrical community, as they have since 1935, The Drama League 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 winners of the five, new Drama League Award categories of distinction are:
OUTSTANDING DIGITAL THEATER, INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTION:
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)
OUTSTANDING DIGITAL THEATER, COLLECTION OR FESTIVAL:
Theater in Quarantine
Created by founder Joshua William Gelb (New York, NY) and Katie Rose McLaughlin (New York, NY)
Collaborators: Ian Axness, Eric Berryman, Chris Bell, Liza Birkenmeier, Heather Christian, Alex Falberg, Madeleine George, Sanaz Ghajar, Afra Hines, Sunny Hitt, Veronica Jiao, Raja Feather Kelly, Jon Levin, Johnny G. Lloyd, Nehemiah Luckett, Josh Luxenberg, Grace McLean, Lee Minora, Karen Olivo, Dan O’Neil, Erin Ortman, Gavin Price, Dito Van Reigersberg, Krit Robinson, Scott R. Sheppard, Matt Stevens, The Westerlies , Alex Weston, Ellen Winter and many others.
OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE OR SOCIALLY-DISTANCED THEATER:
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
Greed directed by Moisés Kaufman
Wrath directed by Jade King Carroll
Miami New Drama (Miami Beach, FL)
OUTSTANDING AUDIO THEATER PRODUCTION:
Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club
Written by Shakina Nayfack
Directed by Laura Savia
Williamstown Theatre Festival (Williamstown, MA) and Audible
OUTSTANDING DIGITAL CONCERT:
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)
Presented by Broadway.com
The 33 nominated productions – which premiered between March 12, 2020 – March 15, 2021 - were selected from submissions by 400+ directors and theatre professionals who are the alumni of The Drama League’s support programs for directors. The full list of nominee is here: https://dramaleague.org/2021-nominees/
The 2021 Special Recognition Honorees, who were represented during the ceremony are: Iris Smith, who received the inaugural Gratitude Award for her fearless support of the The Drama League and the theater community at large; Liesl Tommy, who was 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 were 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.
Drama League Membership is an audience support program for the American theatre; members receive access to special members-only events, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and West End tickets, discounts at local businesses, industry insider updates, and more. Membership is tax-deductible, with annual and monthly membership options available. To become a voting member, visit dramaleague.org/membership or call (212) 244-9494, Ext. 101.
Since first presented in 1922, and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards have been presented by The Drama League, an arts service organization that has provided vital support to the field and its artists for over a century. The organization’s mission provides the nation’s only full-time, lifelong creative home for stage directors and the audiences that enjoy their work across the world. The five traditional competitive categories are Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the highly coveted Distinguished Performance Award. Additionally, each year theater luminaries are selected to receive Special Honors: The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing, the award for Unique Contribution to the Theater, the award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater, and the new Gratitude Award. For a complete list of productions and performers that have won Drama League Awards in the event’s history, as well as all past honorees, click here.
The Drama League is grateful for support from its generous donors and current Drama League Awards Sponsors including Iris Smith; Sceneworks Studios (Ariela Pizza, CEO); Stan Ponte; BroadwayHD (Bonnie Comley & Stewart F. Lane); Kathy Henderson; Paula Kaminsky Davis; JoAnn Weisel; Talu Productions & Lakeview Productions (Una Jackman & Jay Alix); Tony Benten; Leo Shull Foundation for the Arts; Bank of America; and Mary Jain.