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Award History


     

Below is a list of all past winners of the Drama League Awards, in the following categories:


Hal Luftig, Daryl Roth and Diane Paulus at the 2013 Awards Luncheon. Photo: Richard Termine

  

 

Distinguished Performance Award 

Originally known as the Delia Austrian Medal, the Distinguished Performance Award is the oldest and most exclusive theatrical honor in North America.   First presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935 (for Romeo and Juliet), the award is bestowed each season on a single performer from over sixty nominated performances from Broadway and Off-Broadway. 

2017  Ben Platt
2016  Lin-Manuel Miranda
2015  Chita Rivera
2014  Neil Patrick Harris 
2013  Nathan Lane
2012  Audra McDonald
2011  Mark Rylance
2010  Alfred Molina
2009  Geoffrey Rush
2008  Patti LuPone
2007  Liev Schreiber
2006  Christine Ebersole
2005  Norbert Leo Butz
2004  Hugh Jackman
2003  Harvey Fierstein
2002  Liam Neeson
2001  Mary-Louise Parker and Gary Sinise
2000  Eileen Heckart
1999  Kathleen Chalfant
1998  Brian Stokes Mitchell
1997  Charles Durning and Bebe Neuwirth
1996  Uta Hagen
1995  Cherry Jones
1994  Sam Waterston
1993  Stephen Rea
1992  Glenn Close
1991  Stockard Channing
1990  Robert Morse
1989  Pauline Collins
1988  John Lithgow
1987  James Earl Jones
1986  Bernadette Peters
1985  Sir Derek Jacobi
1984  Jeremy Irons
1983  Kate Nelligan and Edward Hermann
1982  Milo O'Shea
1981  Sir Ian McKellen
1980  Roy Scheider
1979  Frances Sternhagen
1978  Frank Langella
1977  Tom Courtenay
1976  Eva Le Gallienne
1975  John Wood
1974  Christopher Plummer
1973  Sir Alan Bates
1972  Dame Eileen Atkins and Claire Bloom
1971  Sir Anthony Quayle
1970  James Stewart
1969  Alec McCowen
1968  Zoe Caldwell
1967  Rosemary Harris
1966  Richard Kiley
1965  Sir John Gielgud
1964  Sir Alec Guinness
1963  Charles Boyer
1962  Paul Scofield
1961  Hume Cronyn
1960  Jessica Tandy
1959  Cyril Ritchard
1958  Ralph Bellamy
1957  Eli Wallach
1956  David Wayne
1955  Viveca Lindfors
1954  Josephine Hull
1953  Shirley Booth
1952  Julie Harris
1951  Claude Rains
1950  Grace George
1949  Robert Morley
1948  Dame Judith Anderson
1947  Ingrid Bergman
1946  Louis Calhern
1945  Mady Christians
1944  Lynn Fontanne
1943  Alfred Lunt
1942  Judith Evelyn
1941  Paul Lukas
1940  Paul Muni
1939  Raymond Massey
1938  Sir Cedric Hardwicke
1937  Maurice Evans
1936  Helen Hayes
1935  Katharine Cornell
   

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Founders Award for Excellence in Directing

In 2000, the Drama League intensified its educational focus on the art and craft of theatrical direction, creating a new award to honor the best practitioners of the field.  The honorees, selected from all directors working on and off-Broadway during the season, represent the highest stadard of achievement in the field.  

2017  Michael Greif
2016  Ivo van Hove
2015  Stephen Daldry
2014  John Tiffany
2013  Jerry Mitchell
2012  Diane Paulus
2011  Susan Stroman
2010  Kenny Leon
2009  Arthur Laurents
2008  Bartlett Sher
2007  Michael Mayer
2006  Des McAnuff
2005  Mike Nichols
2004  George C. Wolfe
2003  Joe Mantello
2002  Sir Richard Eyre
2001  Jack O'Brien
2000  Daniel Sullivan
   

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Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre

First bestowed in 1985, the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre recognizes performers, composers, lyricists, choreographers, and directors whose careers have defined the utmost standard of excellence in musicals. 

2017  Bette Midler
2016  Sheldon Harnick
2015  Joel Grey
2014  Barbara Cook 
2013  Bernadette Peters
2012  Alan Menken
2011  Liza Minnelli
2010  Nathan Lane
2009  Sir Elton John
2008  Paul Gemignani
2007  John Kander and Fred Ebb
2006  Patti LuPone
2005  The BMI Musical Theatre Workshop
2004  Donna Murphy
2003  Twyla Tharp
2002  Elaine Stritch
2001  Susan Stroman
2000  Audra McDonald
1999  Ann Reinking and Gwen Verdon
1998  Julie Taymor
1997  Gerard Alessandrini
1996  George C. Wolfe
1995  Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
1994  George Abbott
1993  Chita Rivera
1992  Agnes de Mille
1991  Stephen Sondheim
1990  Tommy Tune
1989  Mandy Patinkin
1988  Michael Crawford
1987  Robert Lindsay
1986  Bob Fosse
1985  Yul Brynner
   

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Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award

First bestowed in 1982, the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award recognizes singular achievement by individuals, organizations, or partnerships that have made an indelible impact upon professional theatre in New York City. 

2017  William Berloni
2016  Deaf West Theatre
2015  WNET: Neal Shapiro and David Horn
2014  Key Brand Entertainment/Broadway Across America: John Gore
2013  Madison Square Garden Entertainment & The Rockettes
2012  Rosie O'Donnell
2011  Whoopi Goldberg
2010  Macy's Parade and Entertainment Group
2009  Dame Angela Lansbury
2008  La MaMa ETC: Ellen Stewart
2007  Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
2006  Marian Seldes
2005  The Billy Rose Collection
2004  City Center Encores!
2003  Roundabout Theatre Company: Todd Haimes
2002  Julia Hansen
2001  Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise
2000  Actors Theatre of Louisville: Jon Jory
1999  Sir David Hare
1998  The Brooklyn Academy of Music: Harvey Lichtenstein
1997  Jason Robards
1996  The 42nd Street Development Project; The New 42nd Street; The Walt Disney Company, Inc; Livent, Inc.
1995  Manhattan Theatre Club: Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove
1994  Arthur Miller
1993  Lucille Lortel
1992  Playwrights Horizons
1991  Neil Simon
1990  Sir Rex Harrison
1989  New York Shakespeare Festival: Joseph Papp
1988  Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre: Lloyd Richards
1987  Jose Quintero
1986  Athol Fugard
1985  The Royal Shakespeare Company: Terry Hands
1984  Al Hirschfeld
1983  Young Playwrights Festival: Stephen Sondheim
1982  New York Production of Nicholas Nickelby: Bernard Jacobs, Gerald Schoenfeld, James M. Nederlander, Elizabeth I. McCann, Nelle Nugent

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Outstanding Production of a Play

2017

Oslo

2016

The Humans

2015

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

2014

All The Way 

2013

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

2012

Other Desert Cities

2011

War Horse

2010

Red

2009

God of Carnage

2008

August: Osage County 

2007

The Coast of Utopia

2006

The History Boys

2005

Doubt

2004

I Am My Own Wife

2003

Take Me Out

2002

Metamorphoses

2001

Proof

2000

Copenhagen

1999

Wit

1998

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

1997

The Last Night of Ballyhoo

1996

Seven Guitars

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Outstanding Production of a Musical 

2017

Dear Evan Hansen

2016

Hamilton

2015

An American In Paris

2014

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 

2013

Kinky Boots

2012

Once

2011

The Book of Mormon

2010

Sondheim on Sondheim

2009

Billy Elliot

2008

A Catered Affair

2007

Spring Awakening

2006

Jersey Boys

2005

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

2004

Wicked

2003

Hairspray

2002

Urinetown

2001

The Producers

2000

Contact

1999

Fosse

1998

Ragtime

1997

The Life

1996

Rent

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Outstanding Revival 

2017

Musical: Hello, Dolly!
Play: Jitney

2016

Musical: The Color Purple
Play: A View From The Bridge

2015

Musical: The King and I
Play: You Can't Take It With You 

2014

Musical: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Play: The Glass
Menagerie 

2013

Musical: Pippin 
Play: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

2012

Musical: Follies
Play: Death of a Salesman

2011

Musical: Anything Goes
Play: The Normal Heart

2010

Musical: La Cage Aux Folles
Play: A View From The Bridge

2009

Musical: Hair, The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Play: Blithe Spirit 

2008

Musical: South Pacific
Play: Macbeth 

2007

Musical: Company
Play: Journey's End

2006

Musical: Sweeney Todd
Play: Awake and Sing!

2005

Musical: La Cage Aux Folles
Play: Twelve Angry Men

2004

Musical: Assassins
Play: Henry IV

2003

A Day In The Death of Joe Egg

2002

The Crucible

2001

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

2000

Kiss Me, Kate

1999

Death of a Salesman

1998

Cabaret

1997

Chicago

1996

A Delicate Balance

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