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Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Liesl Tommy and More To Appear at 87th Annual Drama League Awards - Friday, May 21 at 7pm ET
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 07:50 am EDT 05/18/21

GLORIA, EMILIO AND EMILY ESTEFAN, HONOREES IRIS SMITH,
LIESL TOMMY, RICHARD & DEMI WEITZ, AND MORE
TO APPEAR AT THE 87TH ANNUAL DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS

THE 2021 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS WILL BE PRESENTED ONLINE
THIS FRIDAY, MAY 21 AT 7:00PM ET

RSVP BEFORE MAY 19 TO JOIN THE CELEBRATION AT DRAMALEAGUE.ORG

(NEW YORK, NY) The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks; Executive Director, Bevin Ross) is pleased to announce that Gloria, Emilio & Emily Estefan, along with the evenings honorees Iris Smith, Liesl Tommy, Richard & Demi Weitz, and more, will appear at The 87th Annual Drama League Awards streaming this Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7:00PM ET. Guests should RSVP before May 19 to access the event, which will stream through the interactive Awards Room platform.

“While the American theater’s stages may have shut down for the last year, America’s theater artists did not,” remarked Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. “On the contrary, thousands of theater pieces emerged during this time -- online and in immersive or socially-distanced environments. Brimming with experimentation in form and content, we knew The Drama League should lift and celebrate these accomplishments.”

Keeping in the tradition of honoring the outstanding accomplishments of the theatrical community, as they have since 1935, this year the organization 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 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.

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 (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; and Bank of America.

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

THE 2021 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARD NOMINEES:

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
Composed by Kofi Osei Williams and Charles Vincent Burwell
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)
Presented by La MaMa
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, Ellie Cooper, Melissa Tien, Rhys Tivey, Emily Waters, Sybil Wigglesworth, Zonia, Tsang Lok Sze, Sandra Daley, Lisa C.M. Lamothe, Annie Henk, and Purva Bedi
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 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. Shepard, Matt Stevens, The Westerlies , Alex Weston, Ellen Winter and many others.
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

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
Greed directed by Moisés Kaufman
Wrath directed by Jade King Carroll
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/

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
Director: Ethan Heard; Filmmaker: Anaiis Cisco; Creative Producer: Ras Dia; Co-music Directors: Daniel Schlosberg & Jacob Ashworth; Arrangers: Daniel Schlosberg & Sean Mayes; Movement Director: Emma Jaster; Featuring: Derrell Acon, Curtis Bannister, Kelly Griffin, Randy Castillo, Tamrin Goldberg, Brian “Hallowdreamz” Henry, and more than 100 incarcerated singers and 70 volunteers from six prison choirs
Heartbeat Opera (New York, NY)
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
In association with TodayTix Presents, TikTok
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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