Wilma Theater Nominated for Drama League Awards

HONORING OUTSTANDING ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT  

DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

33 NATIONWIDE PRODUCTIONS RECOGNIZED IN FIVE UNIQUE CATEGORIES 

CELEBRATING ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN DIGITAL PRODUCTIONS & FESTIVALS, INTERACTIVE &  SOCIALLY-DISTANCED THEATER, AUDIO PLAYS, AND VIRTUAL CONCERT PRESENTATIONS 

2021 SPECIAL RECOGNITION HONOREES INCLUDE 

IRIS SMITH, LIESL TOMMY,  

RICHARD & DEMI WEITZ, AND THE ACTORS FUND 

VOTING OPEN NOW THROUGH APRIL 16, FOR DRAMA LEAGUE MEMBERS 

THE 2021 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS WILL BE PRESENTED ONLINE 

FRIDAY, MAY 21 AT 7:00PM ET RSVP NOW AT DRAMALEAGUE.ORG

The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks;  Executive Director, Bevin Ross) is pleased to announce 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. 

“In this most difficult time, when stages across America were forced to darken, theater artists responded  with light — producing bold new work in ways most of us never dreamed of,” said Artistic Director Gabriel  Stelian-Shanks. “Thanks to the artists who are alumni of The Drama League’s programs, we’re thrilled to  be able to celebrate a few of the extraordinary productions made in the last year — pieces that  exemplify inspiration, innovation, and imagination. Thanks to all of them, from all of us, for the joy and  hope they created all over the world.” 

New members registered before April 9 can participate in this year’s voting period, and members  registered before May 17 will receive access to attend the May 21 event for free. Tickets for non members start at $15 with additional VIP upgrades, Virtual Tables, Tribute Ads, and sponsorship packages  available for corporations, producers, and patrons. All are welcome to attend with a Pass-it-Forward ticket  available for those unable to donate.  

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 1922, The Drama League Awards have been presented by The Drama League, an arts service  organization that, for over a century, has provided vital support to the field and its artists. 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; Stan Ponte; BroadwayHD (Bonnie Comley & Stewart F.  Lane); Kathy Henderson; Paula Kaminsky Davis; JoAnn Weisel; Talu Productions & Lakeview Productions  (Una Jackman & Jay Alix); and Tony Benten. 

More information about our programs, alumni, and the history of the Drama League Awards can be found  at http://www.dramaleague.org.

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) 

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) 

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 

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 

http://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 

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 

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 

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