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Broadway Update

Drama Desks and Theater World Awards on the Same Day

By: David Sheward

February 13, 2024: Two major NY theater awards will be held on the same date. It was announced the 78th annual Theater World Awards will be held on Mon. June 10. The day before, the Drama Desk Awards had announced the same date for their 69th annual accolades. However, the Theater Worlds which are given for outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway debut performances, listed 7PM as their start time. Last year and the year before, the DDs were held in the afternoon, so things may work out for winners who wish to attend both ceremonies. Neither event has listed a venue. Hopefully they will be close to each other so double attendees will have a short trip and time for a bite to eat.

Drama Desks and Theater World Awards on the Same Day

By: David Sheward

February 13, 2024: Two major NY theater awards will be held on the same date. It was announced the 78th annual Theater World Awards will be held on Mon. June 10. The day before, the Drama Desk Awards had announced the same date for their 69th annual accolades. However, the Theater Worlds which are given for outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway debut performances, listed 7PM as their start time. Last year and the year before, the DDs were held in the afternoon, so things may work out for winners who wish to attend both ceremonies. Neither event has listed a venue. Hopefully they will be close to each other so double attendees will have a short trip and time for a bite to eat.

The 2024 Honorees for the Theatre World Award for an Outstanding Debut Performance in a Broadway or Off-Broadway Production, the landmark 15th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater, the 10th Annual John Willis Award for lifetime achievement, and the theatre venue, will be announced in this spring.

Julie Benko who won last year’s Dorothy Loudon Award for her performance in Funny Girl.

Hosted annually by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia, the historic 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will be produced by Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors / Dale Badway. 

The Theatre World Award honorees are chosen by the Theatre World Awards Committee which is comprised of Linda Armstrong (Amsterdam News), David Cote (The Observer), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News, Emeritus), Peter Filichia (The Newark Star-Ledger, Emeritus), David Finkle (New York Stage Review), Elysa Gardner (USA Today, Emeritus), Harry Haun (The Observer), Cary Wong (Freelance), and Frank Scheck (The Hollywood Reporter). Armstrong and Filichia are also on the Nominating Committee for the Drama Desks.

The Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors is headed by Dale Badway (President) with Tom Lynch (Vice-President), Michael Kostel (Vice-President), Stephen Wilde (Secretary), The Honorable Ilene Zatkin-Butler (Treasurer), James Sheridan, and Karen Johnston.

First presented in 1945, the prestigious Theatre World Awards, founded by John Willis, the Editor-in-Chief of both Theatre World and its companion volume, Screen World, are the oldest awards given for Outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway Debut Performances. The Theatre World Awards are presented annually at the end of the theatre season to six actors and six actresses for their significant, reviewable, debut performances in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production. The ceremony is a private, invitation-only event followed by a party to celebrate the new honorees and welcome them to the Theatre World “family.”

In what has become a highly entertaining and often touching tradition, 12 previous winners serve as the presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share wonderful stories rarely heard at other theatrical awards. 

Previous winners who have won the prestigious Theatre World Award at the beginning of their careers include Meryl Streep, Rosemary Harris, Marlon Brando, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, James Earl Jones, Liza Minnelli, Alan Alda, Zoe Caldwell, Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Al Pacino, Grace Kelly, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks, Lupita Nyong’o, John Krasinski, and so many more.

Drama Desks Dates

The 68th Drama Desk Awards will be presented on Mon. June 10 it was announced by DD Co-Presidents Charles Wright and David Barbour. Nominations will be announced on April 29 (the day before the Tony nominations come out on April 30). Details and venues will be announced in the coming months. Productions must have opened by April 25. The DDs are the only NY-based theater awards to consider Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions in each of its multiple categories.

As was the case last year, the performing categories will be gender-neutral with twice as many candidates as the former gendered categories. The Drama Desk membership which is composed of about 100 NY-based theater critics, editors and journalists, will vote for two nominees and there will be two winners in each category. 

The ceremony will be produced by Staci Levine, as she did last year. At the 2023 ceremony, the winners were announced in advance.

The 2023-2024 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: Martha Wade Steketee (Chair; freelance: UrbanExcavations.com), Linda Armstrong (New York Amsterdam News), Daniel Dinero (Theater Is Easy), Peter Filichia (Broadway Radio), Kenji Fujishima (freelance: Theatermania), Margaret Hall (Playbill), and Charles Wright, ex-officio.