The Drama League (Executive Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks) will honor three major powerhouse talents of the American theater community at the 85th Annual Drama League Awards, set for Friday afternoon, May 17, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square (1535 Broadway).
The three 2019 honorees are: Tony® Award winning actress and singer Kelli O’Hara, currently starring in Kiss Me, Kate! on Broadway, receiving the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; two-time Tony® Award nominated director Alex Timbers, of the upcoming Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge on Broadway, receiving the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; and MacArthur Genius Grant-winning playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer Taylor Mac, writer of this season’s Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicuson Broadway, receiving the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award.
These honors are in addition to the five competitive Drama League Awards: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award. The 2019 Nominees for these five awards will be announced on Wednesday morning, April 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Sardi’s (234 West 44th Street), with the announcement streaming live via BroadwayWorld.com.
The 85th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon includes a VIP cocktail reception, seated luncheon, and awards presentation, and will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway) on Friday, May 17, 2019 beginning at 11:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by MAC Cosmetics, Official Make-up Partner of The Drama League. The Drama League Awards Event Chair is Bonnie Comley.
First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. The Drama League Awards recognize distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements. The first Drama League Award was for Distinguished Performance, and was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935. Since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theater legends such asGlenda Jackson, Ben Platt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chita Rivera, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Mark Rylance, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Plummer, to name a few.
To purchase tickets to the Drama League Awards, visit www.dramaleague.org/events/awards; tables of ten are also available, as are ad spaces in the event journal. Want to cast your vote for the five competitive awards? Join The Drama League’s membership program today at the Angel Level or above to access year-round benefits including voting privileges in the 2019 Drama League Awards. To join, visit www.dramaleague.org/membership.
Kelli O’Hara (Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award) has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. She is currently appearing as Jackie in the second season of Netflix’s hit “13 Reasons Why” and recently completed shooting the upcoming series of “The Accidental Wolf”. Last year, she joined Showtime’s “Master of Sex” as Michael Sheen’s long-lost love, Dodie, and can be seen in CBS All Access’ “The Good Fight”. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons and WTF), King Lear (The Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing(New York City Center Encores!), Sunday in the Park with George (Los Angeles Reprise!), and My Life With Albertine (Playwrights’ Horizons). Concerts span from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill. Kelli starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming. Other film and television credits include “Sex & The City 2,” Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, “Blue Bloods”, “Alexander Hamilton”, “N3mbers”, and the animated series “Car Talk”. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Her solo albums “Always” and “Wonder in the World” are available on Ghostlight Records. In 2018, Kelli starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Così fan tutte as Despina, and reprised her Tony Award winning role as Anna Leonowens in the West End transfer of The King and I. Kelli currently stars as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine in Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Kiss Me, Kate! on Broadway.
Alex Timbers (Founders Award for Excellence in Directing) is a two-time Tony-nominated director and writer and the recipient of Golden Globe, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as two OBIE and Lortel Awards. Directing credits include John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (Netflix), Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s Oh Hello on Broadway (also aired on Netflix), David Byrne’s Here Lies Love (Lortel Award for Best Director, Drama Desk and OCC nominations for Best Director, London Evening Standard Award), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (also book writer; Drama Desk Award for Best Book, Lortel and OCC Awards for Best Musical, Tony nomination for Best Book), Peter and the Starcatcher (co-director; OBIE Award for Best Director, Tony nomination for Best Director), The Robber Bridegroom (Lortel Award for Best Revival), Rocky (Drama Desk and OCC nominations for Best Director), The Pee-wee Herman Show (also aired on HBO), Gutenberg!(Drama Desk nom. for Best Director), Hell House (Drama Desk nom.), A Very Merry Unauthorized Pageant (OBIE Award). Alex was co-creator of “Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon) and recipient of the 2016 Jerome Robbins Award. He served as Artistic Director of the downtown company Les Freres Corbusier for over a decade. Upcoming: Moulin Rouge and Beetlejuice.
Taylor Mac (Unique Contribution to the Theater Award) (who uses “judy”—lowercase sic—as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Plays include: Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (Broadway), A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (shown in its 24-hour entirety at St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Curran Theater, the Ace Theater, the Melbourne Festival, upcoming at the Berliner Festspiele), Hir (Magic Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf and over sixty professional productions), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (La Mama with the Talking Band), The Lily’s Revenge (HERE Arts Center, Magic Theater, American Repertory Theater), The Young Ladies Of (HERE Arts Center, Playmakers Repertory, Manchester’s Library Theater), Red Tide Blooming (PS 122), and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (highlights include: The Public Theater, The Sydney Opera House, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Mac, aside from acting in much of judy’s own work, sometimes plays with others. Most notably: Shen Teh/Shui Ta in The Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechwan, in the City Center Encores! production of Gone Missing, Puck/Egeus in the Classic Stage Company’sA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in the two-man vaudeville The Last Two People On Earth, which judy co-created with Mandy Patinkin and director Susan Stroman. Mac is a MacArthur Fellow, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama and the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, the Herb Alpert in Theater, The Booth Award, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, two Bessies, two Obies, two Helpmann’s, and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. An alumnus of New Dramatists, judy is currently the resident playwright at HERE Arts Center.
ABOUT THE DRAMA LEAGUE OF NEW YORK_______________________________________
The Drama League has been at the forefront of the American Theater community providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support since 1916. It is one of the nation’s oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programs, initiatives and events, The Drama League serves over 3,000 artists and 15,000 audience members each season with over 150 events and prog