Drama League Awards









The 85th Annual Drama League Awards was another wonderful celebration of both Broadway and off-Broadway theater! The event, which took place on May 17, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, was host to over 600 guests, among them fantastic artists, producers, creative teams, and theater-lovers. 

This year’s ceremony culminated in the presentation of the five competitive awards and the three special honors.  The latter were presented to three theater luminaries: Kelli O’Hara, who received the award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater; Taylor Mac, who received the award for Unique Contribution to the Theater; and Alex Timbers, who received The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; which was presented to him by special guest John Mulaney.  Learn more about these three exciting artists and why we are thrilled to honor them below!

Check out photos and posts from this year’s Awards Luncheon on our Facebook page!  

The full list of Drama League Award winners and honorees in the event’s entire history, of whom the above shows and artists will now join the ranks, is available here

Nominees for the five competitive categories were announced on April 17th, 2019 – check out all of the 2019 nominees by clicking here.



First presented in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatrical awards chosen by the ENTIRE theatre community – specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and off-Broadway productions.  League members include award-winning actors, designers, directors, playwrights, producers, industry veterans, critics and dedicated audiences from across the nation.

At the height of the theatrical season each May, The Drama League Awards are presented in a star-studded luncheon ceremony. Lauded as “a wonderful, notoriously swanky affair” by Playbill and as “the best party on Broadway” by John Lithgow, the Awards Luncheon is considered by many to be the most intimate and friendly event of the awards season.

For questions about the event or to become a voting member, please call (212) 244-9494, Ext. 101.




Kelli O’Hara (Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award) has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. She is currently appearing as Jackie in the second season of Netflix’s hit “13 Reasons Why” and recently completed shooting the upcoming series of “The Accidental Wolf”. Last year, she joined Showtime’s “Master ‚Äčof Sex” as Michael Sheen’s long-lost love, Dodie, and can be seen in CBS All Access’ “The Good Fight”. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons and WTF), King Lear (The Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing (New York City Center Encores!), Sunday in the Park with George (Los Angeles Reprise!), and My Life With Albertine (Playwrights’ Horizons). Concerts span from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill. Kelli starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming. Other film and television credits include Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, “Blue Bloods”, “Alexander Hamilton”, “N3mbers”, and the animated series “Car Talk”. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Her solo albums “Always” and “Wonder in the World” are available on Ghostlight Records. In 2018, Kelli starred in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Così fan tutte as Despina, and reprised her Tony Award winning role as Anna Leonowens in the West End transfer of The King and I. Kelli currently stars as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Kiss Me, Kate! on Broadway.


Alex Timbers (Founders Award for Excellence in Directing) is a two-time Tony-nominated director and writer and the recipient of Golden Globe, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as two OBIE and Lortel Awards. Directing credits include John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (Netflix), Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s Oh Hello on Broadway (also aired on Netflix), David Byrne’s Here Lies Love (Lortel Award for Best Director, Drama Desk and OCC nominations for Best Director, London Evening Standard Award), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (also book writer; Drama Desk Award for Best Book, Lortel and OCC Awards for Best Musical, Tony nomination for Best Book), Peter and the Starcatcher (co-director; OBIE Award for Best Director, Tony nomination for Best Director), The Robber Bridegroom (Lortel Award for Best Revival), Rocky (Drama Desk and OCC nominations for Best Director), The Pee-wee Herman Show (also aired on HBO), Gutenberg! (Drama Desk nom. for Best Director), Hell House (Drama Desk nom.), A Very Merry Unauthorized Pageant (OBIE Award). Alex was co-creator of Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) and recipient of the 2016 Jerome Robbins Award. He served as Artistic Director of the downtown company Les Freres Corbusier for over a decade. Upcoming: Moulin Rouge and Beetlejuice.



Taylor Mac (Unique Contribution to the Theater Award) (who uses “judy”—lowercase sic—as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Plays include: Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (Broadway), A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (shown in its 24-hour entirety at St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Curran Theater, the Ace Theater, the Melbourne Festival, upcoming at the Berliner Festspiele), Hir (Magic Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf and over sixty professional productions), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (La Mama with the Talking Band), The Lily’s Revenge (HERE Arts Center, Magic Theater, American Repertory Theater), The Young Ladies Of (HERE Arts Center, Playmakers Repertory, Manchester’s Library Theater), Red Tide Blooming (PS 122), and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (highlights include: The Public Theater, The Sydney Opera House, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Mac, aside from acting in much of judy’s own work, sometimes plays with others. Most notably: Shen Teh/Shui Ta in The Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechwan, in the City Center Encores! production of Gone Missing, Puck/Egeus in the Classic Stage Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in the two-man vaudeville The Last Two People On Earth, which judy co-created with Mandy Patinkin and director Susan Stroman. Mac is a MacArthur Fellow, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama and the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, the Herb Alpert in Theater, The Booth Award, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, two Bessies, two Obies, two Helpmann’s, and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. An alumnus of New Dramatists, judy is currently the resident playwright at HERE Arts Center.



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