The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks / Executive Director, Bevin Ross) announced The Gratitude Awards Spring 2020 Nominations Videos are Live! The Gratitude Awards, a one-time-only pre-recorded digital fundraiser, is set to air on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30pm EST streaming on The Drama League’s Youtube and Facebook. The Gratitude Awards is a large-scale kindness project designed to share the gift of gratitude from within the theater community, with NYC, and to all. The program will include vignettes from Friends of the Drama League, including Aaron Tveit, Adrienne Warren, Condola Rashad, Elizabeth Stanley, Idina Menzel, Jeremy Pope, Kelli O’Hara, Kristin Chenoweth, Marianne Elliott, Megan Hilty, Nathan Lane, and Sutton Foster and their respective nominees!
The broadcast will include special cameos from previous Distinguished Performance Award recipient Patti LuPone and the 86th Annual Drama League Artistic Awards Nominations presented by Beetlejuice’s Alex Brightman and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer. Tune in for acceptance videos from Honorees nominated before the COVID-19 crisis, Marianne Elliott as the recipient of the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing, James Lapine as the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award, and Terrence McNally as the recipient of the Unique Contribution to Theater Award. Tom Kirdahy will accept on behalf of Mr. McNally and the program will be inclusive of an In Memoriam, presented by Jeff Kaufman & Marcia Ross (producers of Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life).
Although The Drama League’s mission offers support directly to stage directors, they are the champions of performers, designers, theater workers, and administrators who all come together to make theater happen. This digital event will celebrate and be inclusive of participation from all workers in the theater community, while funding the many opportunities stage directors will need so they can lead shows back onto stages and audiences back into seats. As long as we continue to stand together, keep the ghost light on, and support one another, we are all winners.
The Drama League Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements on and off Broadway, is a tradition we have been honored to provide since 1935. This year, as the world and its theater community face unique challenges, its need for celebration is different. The traditional Drama League awards process will therefore be delayed due to the ongoing citywide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will return at an appropriate time. But while those and the NYC theater season are paused, we are happy to celebrate a different set of excellence, recognizing the extraordinary acts of heroism in the theatrical community on and behind the scenes every day.
The 86th Awards Nominations Event, which was to be held at Sardi’s on April 16, along with the Awards Luncheon, which was to be held at the Marriott Marquis on May 15, will no longer take place in-person this spring, due to government social distancing regulations.
All proceeds raised during the program will go towards The Ghost Light Campaign, which supports our 2020-2021 cohort of Directing Fellows & Residents, New Visions / New Voices after-school directing mentorship program for NYC high school students, as well as a portion allocated directly to our micro re-grant program, the Directors Emergency Relief Fund.In the meantime you can donate here.
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