Theatre World Awards to Be Presented June 1 at the Lyric Theatre;
Chita Rivera to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
The 71st Annual Theatre World Awards – the oldest award given for a debut theatre performance on or off-Broadway – will be Monday, June 1 at 7:45 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre. The event will honor the legacy of acclaimed lyricist and book writer Betty Comden, the long-time writing partner of Adolph Green.
The winners of this year’s TWAs are Geneva Carr (Hand to God), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Megan Fairchild (On the Town), Robert Fairchild (An American in Paris), Collin Kelly-Sordelet (The Last Ship), Sydney Lucas (Fun Home), Karen Pittman (Disgraced), Benjamin Scheur (The Lion), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), Micah Stock (It’s Only a Play), and Ruth Wilson (Constellations). The TWA are hosted annually by theater journalist, Peter Filichia.
The 2015 John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to Chita Rivera. The Award honors the man who created and maintained the Theatre World tradition for 66 years. Previous recipients include Alan Alda and Christopher Plummer.
The Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence, honoring an outstanding performance in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production, will be presented by Dame Diana Rigg to Leanne Cope for her performance as Lise in An American in Paris.
The original production of On the Town opened at the Adelphi Theater in 1944 starring Betty Comden, who co-wrote with Adolph Green and was one of the first winners of the inaugural Theatre World Awards for her debut. This year’s ceremony brings the awards to the Lyric, home to the Tony and Drama Desk-nominated revival On the Town.
The TWA honor six actresses and six actors in recognition of an outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway season debut. Established in 1945, the Awards, founded by John Willis, the late editor of Theatre World and Screen World, are the oldest awards given for a debut performance.
The ceremony is a private, invitation-only event. Traditionally, 12 previous winners serve as presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share stories.
The Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater honors an Outstanding Performance in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production. Miss Loudon made her Broadway debut in Nowhere to Go But Up for which she received a Theatre World Award. She received a Tony for her acclaimed performance as Miss Hannigan in Annie, and originated roles in Noises Off, Westside Waltz, and Michael Bennett’s Ballroom. The honoree is chosen by the trustees of the Dorothy Loudon Foundation, Lionel Larner, executive director, with recommendations from the Awards Committee.
Theatre World Award winners are chosen by the Committee, which is comprised of Roma Torre (NY1), David Cote (Time Out New York and NY1), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News), Filichia (Newark Star-Ledger, emeritus), Harry Haun (Playbill), Matthew Murray (Talkin’ Broadway), and Frank Scheck (New York Post).
The TWA board is headed by Dale Badway (president) with Tom Lynch (VP), Tabitha Falcone (treasurer), Stephen Wilde (secretary), Michael Kostel, and Ken Mahoney.
The TWA welcomes principal sponsor Mahoney Asset Management. For additional information about the Theatre World Awards, including a list of past recipients, visit www.theatreworldawards.org.