Undaunted after being moved from a formal, ticketed live-on-stage event to a low-key prerecorded ceremony, the Drama Desk, of which I am a voting member, last night announced the winners of its 65th annual awards honoring the best of Broadway and Off Broadway for the 2019-2020 season.
Although New York theater was forced to come to a TEMPORARY halt due to the global pandemic, there was an exciting and rich theater season prior to the March 12 lockdown, with a great many plays and musicals to be considered for these awards.
Below is the list of winners, but before we go there, I would like to draw your attention to this message of support for racial equality from the organization:
"The Drama Desk is committed to honoring all that's outstanding in the work of New York's diverse theater artists and craftspeople. We regret the postponement of our awards ceremony, but, as an organization committed to the principle that all voices must be heard, we stand with the global Black Lives Matter movement, decrying the racial injustice and violence in our nation and city."
Here is the list of the winners:
A Strange Loop
A Soldier’s Play
Little Shop of Horrors
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!
Dave Malloy, Octet
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Tom Kitt, Jagged Liittle Pill
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Campbell Young Associates, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play
Raphael Mishler, Tumacho
Is This A Room
A Christmas Carol
Ensemble Award: “To the eight pitch-perfect performers in Dave Malloy’s a cappella musical Octet: Adam Bashian, Kim Blanck, Starr Busby, Alex Gibson, Justin Gregory Lopez, J.D. Mollison, Margo Seibert and Kuhoo Verma proved instrumental in giving a layered look at modern forms of addiction.”
Sam Norkin Award: “To actress Mary Bacon, who continued her versatile career of compassionate, searing work for such companies as The Mint, Primary Stages, The Public Theater and The Actors Theater Company, with two of Off-Broadway’s most humane performances this season in Coal Country at the Public Theater and Nothing Gold Can Stay presented by Partial Comfort Productions.”
“To The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley for connecting members of the theater community and lifting spirits during the coronavirus crisis. The Actors Fund has worked tirelessly to provide financial and health resources to those impacted by the pandemic; Rudetsky and Wesley’s semi-daily Stars in the House webcast is raising funds for The Actors Fund, while providing performances, reunions, and medical updates.”
“To The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s “Mobile Theater” that began in 1957 and evolved into the New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater. The current Mobile Unit tours free Shakespeare throughout the five boroughs, including prisons, homeless shelters and community centers, reminding audiences new and old that the play really is the thing. ”
“To WP Theater and Julia Miles, the company’s founder who died this spring. Formerly known as The Women’s Project and Productions, the company began in 1978 at American Place Theatre, where Miles served as associate to visionary artistic director Wynn Handman, who also died this spring. WP is the largest, most enduring American company that nurtures and produces works by female-identified creators. Over a little more than four decades, it has changed the demographics of American drama through an unwavering focus on women writers, directors, producers, performers and craftspeople.”
“To Claire Warden for her pioneering work as an intimacy choreographer in such recent projects as Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Linda Vista and her leadership in the rapidly emerging movement of intimacy direction. As part of the creative team of Intimacy Directors & Coordinators and Director of Engagement for and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, she is helping create theater experiences that are safer for performers and more authentic for contemporary audiences.”
Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment.