First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members – specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
The Drama League Awards honor distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements in musical theatre and directing. The first Drama League Award was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935. Since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theatre legends such as Liam Neeson, Audra McDonald, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Sir John Gielgud, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Julie Harris, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, and Christopher Plummer.
At the height of the theatrical season each May, The Drama League Awards are presented in a star-studded ceremony during The Annual Awards Luncheon, attended by performers, directors, producers, and Drama League members. Lauded as “a wonderful, notoriously swanky affair” by Playbill and as “the best party on Broadway” by John Lithgow, the Awards Luncheon is considered my many to be the most intimate and friendly event of the awards season.
The Drama League presents five competitive awards: Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Revival of a Musical, and theDistinguished Performance Award. Click on the links to see a list of previous winners.
The 79th Annual Drama League Awards were held on Friday, May 17, 2013
at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.
The winners were:
Distinguished Performance: Nathan Lane
Distinguished Production of a Musical: Kinky Boots
Distinguished Production of a Play: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Distinguished Revival of a Musical: Pippin
Distinguished Revival of a Play: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Founders Award for Excellence in Directing: Jerry Mitchell
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater: Bernadette Peters
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