Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar, “Ugly Betty”) will serve as host of the 61st Annual Drama Desk Awards on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 8:00 PM at The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd Street), it was announced today by Charles Wright, Drama Desk President, and Gretchen Shugart, CEO of TheaterMania.com.
“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Urie as this year’s Drama Desk Awards host. His charm, wit and warmth will make for a very special and lively evening as we celebrate excellence in New York theater,” said Shugart.
Michael Urie said, “I can’t wait to host the Drama Desk Awards show. This year, to add more excitement, we’re calling it Drama Desk: LIVE!”
For the fifth consecutive year, TheaterMania will present theawards ceremony and Joey Parnes Productions willproduce and manage the show. Shugart is the Managing ExecutiveProducer of the Drama Desk Awards. The Awards show will be written by Bill Rosenfield and directed by Jack Cummings III (co-founder and artistic director of Transport Group).
Tickets to the 61st Annual Drama Desk Awards will go on sale to the general public on March 28th atwww.DramaDeskAwards.com.
The Drama Desk Awards nominations announcement will take place on Thursday, April 28th at Feinstein’s/54 Below at 10:00 am and will be streamed live on www.TheaterMania.com.
The Drama Desk Awards, which are presented annually, honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. What sets the Drama Desk Awards apart is that they are voted on and bestowed by theater critics, journalists, editors and publishers covering theater, without any vested interest in the results. For this reason, Drama Desk Awards reflect both enthusiasm for all aspects of New York’s professional theater and a level of erudition and theatrical experience unparalleled in our industry’s other prize-giving organizations.
The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics’ organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.
The 2015-2016 Drama Desk Awards Nominating Committee is composed of: David Barbour(Lighting&Sound America), Chair; Peter Filichia (Broadway Select, author, most recently, of The Great Parade: The Remarkable 1963-64 Broadway Season); David Finkle (Blogger, Huffington Post; Clyde Fitch Report); Sandy MacDonald (Time Out New York, TheaterNewsOnline.com); Andy Propst (www.AmericanTheaterWeb.com, author, You Fascinate Me So: The Life & Times of Cy Coleman); Diane Snyder (Cititour.com, Time Out New York); Douglas Strassler (Garden State Journal); Charles Wright (President, Drama Desk), ex officio.
The 2015-2016 Board of Directors of the Drama Desk is composed of: Charles Wright (A+E Networks), President; Richard Ridge (BroadwayWorld.com), 1st Vice President; Lauren Yarger(Manchester Journal-Inquirer, reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com), 2nd Vice President; Edward Karam(offoffonline.com), Treasurer; David Barbour (Lighting&Sound America), Chair, Awards Nominating Committee; Leslie (Hoban) Blake (Two on the Aisle/MNN/YouTube/Daily Motion), Historian; Arlene Epstein (Richner Communications/South Shore Record, www.LIHerald.com; Elysa Gardner (USA Today); Isa Goldberg (East Hampton Independent, Southampton Press); John Istel (Managing editor, www.DramaDesk.org, freelance arts editor and journalist); David Kaufman (author and freelance); Andy Lefkowitz (TheaterMania); William Wolf (Adjunct professor, NYU, www.WolfEntertainmentGuide.com).
In addition to Gretchen Shugart as Managing Executive Producer, Robert R. Blume and David S. Stone, in association with Renee McCurry, are Executive Producers of the Drama Desk Awards.
Michael Urie originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar Off-Broadway, on tour, and in London, Urie received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. New York theater credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), Shows For Days (LCT), The Cherry Orchard (CSC), Angels in America (Signature), The Temperamentals(Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards, Drama League nomination), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull), Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Urie has worked for Two River, The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and The Blank (L.A.) Film: He’s Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot(director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer). TV: Gavin Sinclair on Modern Family, Younger, Workaholics, The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, Partners and Marc St. James on “Ugly Betty”. He currently hosts the Logo series Cocktails And Classics. Web series: “What’s Your Emergency” (director). Training: Juilliard.
Founded in 1999, TheaterMania connects the theater industry to a mass consumer audience, with comprehensive listings, news, reviews, features, interviews and video content that covers theater across the United States and the United Kingdom. TheaterMania’s widely distributed email newsletters provide special offers to over 1 million subscribers. In addition to providing theaters with online marketing programs to drive ticket sales, TheaterMania’s proprietary ticketing system OvationTix is used throughout America by hundreds of performing arts organizations, museums, concerts, festivals and events to process ticket sales and manage fundraising and patron information. TheaterMania owns London-based WhatsOnStage, a source for information and tickets to UK theater, and also produces the annual WhatsOnStage Awards. TheaterMania became presenter of the Drama Desk Awards in 2012.