Gordin's View

The 2016 Drama Desk Awards

Jessica Lange and Cynthia Erivo Photo: Barry Gordin

Winners for the 61st Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced this evening at The Town Hall.¬† In keeping with Drama Desk’s mission, nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway during the 2015-2016 New York theater season in the same competitive categories.

And The Winners of the 2016 Drama Desk Awards Are:

Outstanding Play

The Christians, Playwrights Horizons

*The Humans, Roundabout Theatre Company

John, Signature Theatre

King Charles III

The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater

Outstanding Musical

Daddy Long Legs

First Daughter Suite, Public Theater

School of Rock

*Shuffle Along


Outstanding Revival of a Play

Cloud Nine, Atlantic Theater Company

Death of a Salesman, New Yiddish Rep

Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse at St. Ann’s Warehouse

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Roundabout Theatre Company

*A View from the Bridge

Women Without Men, Mint Theater Company

Outstanding Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple

Fiddler on the Roof

The Golden Bride, National Yiddish Theatre Folkesbiene

*She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company

Spring Awakening

Outstanding Actor in a Play

Andrew Garman, The Christians, Playwrights Horizons

Avi Hoffman, Death of a Salesman

*Frank Langella, The Father, Manhattan Theatre Club

Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III

Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Actress in a Play

Georgia Engel, John, Signature Theatre

Mamie Gummer, Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Undeground

Marin Ireland, Ironbound, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Women’s Project Theater

*Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Nicola Walker, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

*Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof

Robert Creighton, Cagney, York Theatre Company

Michael C. Hall, Lazarus, New York Theatre Workshop

Zachary Levi, She Loves Me

Benjamin Walker, American Psycho

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Laura Benanti, She Loves Me

Carmen Cusack, Bright Star

*Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple

Jessie Mueller, Waitress

Annette O’Toole, Southern Comfort, Public Theater

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Bill Camp, The Crucible

David Furr, Noises Off, Roundabout Theatre Company

Matt McGrath, The Legend of Georgia McBride, MCC Theater

*Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Richard Thomas, Incident at Vichy, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Brooke Bloom, Cloud Nine

Megan Hilty, Noises Off

Kellie Overbey, Women Without Men

*Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed, Public Theater

Jeanine Serralles, Gloria, Vineyard Theatre

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Nicholas Barasch, She Loves Me

*Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress

Baylee Littrell, Disaster!

Paul Alexander Nolan, Bright Star

A.J. Shively, Bright Star

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple

Alison Fraser, First Daughter Suite

Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen, Second Stage

*Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me

Mary Testa, First Daughter Suite

Outstanding Director of a Play

Rachel Chavkin, The Royale

Sam Gold, John

Rupert Goold, King Charles III

Joe Mantello, The Humans

Jenn Thompson, Women Without Men

*Ivo van Hove, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Director of a Musical

Michael Arden, Spring Awakening

*John Doyle, The Color Purple

Rupert Goold, American Psycho

*Bartlett Sher, Fiddler on the Roof

Bryna Wasserman and Motl Didner, The Golden Bride

Outstanding Choreography

Joshua Bergasse, Cagney

*Savion Glover, Shuffle Along

Spencer Liff, Spring Awakening

Lynne Page, American Psycho

Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea

Outstanding Music

Sara Bareilles, Waitress

Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock

The Lobbyists, SeaWife, Naked Angels

*Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star

Outstanding Lyrics

Sara Bareilles, Waitress

Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

*Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen

Glenn Slater, School of Rock

Outstanding Book of a Musical

*John Caird, Daddy Long Legs

Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Jessie Nelson, Waitress

Outstanding Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen, Bright Star

*Larry Hochman, She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company

Joseph Joubert and Catherine Jayes, The Color Purple

Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock

Michael Starobin and Bruce Coughlin, First Daughter Suite

Outstanding Music in a Play

Billie Joe Armstrong, These Paper Bullets!, Atlantic Theatre Company

Estelle Bajou, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, One Year Lease Theater Company

Shaun Davey, Pericles, Theatre for a New Audience

*Philip Glass, The Crucible

Tom Kitt, Cymbeline, Public Theater

Outstanding Set Design for a Play

Riccardo Hernandez, Red Speedo, New York Theatre Workshop

Mimi Lien, John

Derek McLane, Fully Committed

G. W. Mercier, Head of Passes, Public Theater

*Christopher Oram, Hughie

Outstanding Set Design for a Musical

Es Devlin, American Psycho

Emily Orling, Matt Saunders, Eric Farber, Futurity, Soho Rep/Ars Nova

*David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play

Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!

Martha Hally, Women Without Men

Constance Hoffman, Pericles

William Ivey Long, Shows for Days, Lincoln Center Theater

*Anita Yavich, The Legend of Georgia McBride

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical

Jane Greenwood, Bright Star

Katrina Lindsay, American Psycho

Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me

*Ann Roth, Shuffle Along

Alejo Vietti, Allegiance

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play

Neil Austin, Hughie

Mark Barton, John

Bradley King, Empanada Loca, Labyrinth Theater Company

Tyler Micoleau, Antlia Pneumatica, Playwrights Horizons

*Justin Townsend, The Humans

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical

Jane Cox, The Color Purple

Jake DeGroot, SeaWife

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along

Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening

*Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Outstanding Projection Design

Nicholas Hussong, These Paper Bullets!

Darrel Maloney, Tappin’ Thru Life

Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen

*Finn Ross, American Psycho

Tal Yarden, Lazarus

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play

Mikhail Fiksel and Miles Polaski, Fulfillment, The Flea Theater

Fitz Patton, An Act of God

*Fitz Patton, The Humans

Bray Poor, John

Ryan Rumery, Empanada Loca

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical

Scott Lehrer, Shuffle Along

Mick Potter, School of Rock

Brian Ronan, Lazarus

*Dan Moses Schreier, American Psycho

Nevin Steinberg, Bright Star

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design

David Brian Brown, She Loves Me

Jason Hayes, The Legend of Georgia McBride

Charles G. LaPointe, The School for Scandal, Red Bull Theater

*Mia M. Neal, Shuffle Along

Robert-Charles Vallance, Women Without Men

Outstanding Solo Performance

Simon Callow, Tuesdays at Tesco’s, 59E59

Kathleen Chalfant, Rose, Nora’s Playhouse

*Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fully Committed

James Lecesne, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

Daphne Rubin-Vega, Empanada Loca

Unique Theatrical Experience

ADA/AVA, Manual Cinema/3LD/The Tank

Antigona – Soledad Barrio/Noche Flamenca

*That Physics Show

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

YOUARENOWHERE – 3LD/The Tank/Andrew J. Schneider Performance/Lingua Franca Arts

Special Awards

The Humans – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble

Cassie Beck, Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed, and Sarah Steele spend a very special Thanksgiving Day together in Stephen Karam’s play, reminding us that home is indeed where The Humans are.

The Royale – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble

The heavyweight cast of McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Montego Glover, John Lavelle, and Clarke Peters gels as a unit in bringing Marco Ramirez’s story, inspired by Jack Johnson, to unforgettable life, offering a trenchant statement on racism in America.

Sheldon Harnick – Special Drama Desk Award

New productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Rothschild and Sons, and She Loves Me this season remind us that this veteran lyricist’s takes on faith, family and community are as resonant as ever.

Camp Broadway – Special Drama Desk Award

For more than 20 years, this indispensable organization has introduced young people to the magic of theater. Camp Broadway plays a crucial role in creating tomorrow’s audiences.

Danai Gurira – Sam Norkin Award

Whether writing about women in wartime Liberia in Eclipsed or about an affluent immigrant family from Zimbabwe struggling with assimilation in Familiar, Danai Gurira demonstrates great insight, range, and depth, bringing a fresh new voice to American theater.

Note: Eligibility and award category designations for the productions under consideration this season were determined by the Drama Desk Board of Directors. Because of the abundance of work throughout the season, the Board also authorized increasing the number of nominees allowed in select categories.