Presented by Bettlejuice’s Alex Brightman and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer in Virtual Awards Ceremony

The Gratitude Awards featured 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; Including video tribute to the late Terrence McNally who was honored with The Unique Contribution to Theater Award. 

New York, NY (April 30, 2020) – The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks / Executive Director, Bevin Ross) has announced the 2020 Drama League Awards Nominees for Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much- coveted Distinguished Performance Award. The nominations were announced this evening during The Gratitude Awards by Beetlejuice’s Alex Brightman and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer. Voting is open for Drama League members from May 1 – May 22. Award winners will be announced via livestream in June

The broadcast included special cameos from previous Distinguished Performance Award recipients Bernadette Peters, Bryan Cranston, and Patti LuPone, and the 86th Annual Drama League Artistic Awards Nominations presented by Beetlejuice’s Alex Brightman and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer. 

Other recognitions include Marianne Elliott as the recipient of the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing and James Lapine as the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award.  

The Drama League honored the five-time Tony Award® winning McNally with the organization’s lifetime achievement award – “The Unique Contribution to Theater Award”  at this year’s Drama League Awards. However, because of McNally’s  unfortunate passing on March 24, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19 and New York City’s guidelines against large gatherings, The Drama League has had to make changes to their annual awards nomination ceremony this year.  Tom Kirdahy accepted on behalf of Mr. McNally and a special tribute film was presented by Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross (producers of the documentary film Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life).

The Drama League announced that the spirit of The Gratitude Awards will live on via a new honorary category for the 87th Annual Drama League Awards starting in 2021 with The Gratitude Award, for a person or organization who has shown fearless support and kindness to the theater community.

Missed the broadcast? Watch the archive HERE

Here are the nominees for 86th Annual The Drama League’s five competitive categories for this year:


Cambodian Rock Band

Directed by Chay Yew

Written by Lauren Yee

Signature Theatre Company


Dana H.

Directed by Les Waters

Written by Lucas Hnath

Vineyard Theatre


Grand Horizons

Directed by Leigh Silverman

Written by Bess Wohl

Second Stage/Helen Hayes Theater


The Hot Wing King

Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III

Written by Katori Hall

Signature Theatre Company


The Inheritance

Directed by Stephen Daldry

Written by Matthew Lopez

Barrymore Theatre


The Michaels

Written and Directed by Richard Nelson

Public Theater


Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

Directed by Trip Cullman

Written by Halley Feiffer

MCC Theater


One in Two

Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb

Written by Donja R. Love

The New Group


Sea Wall/A Life

Directed by Carrie Cracknell

Written by Simon Stephens/Nick Payne

Hudson Theater



Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel

Written by Theresa Rebeck

MCC Theater


Slave Play

Directed by Robert O’Hara

Written by Jeremy O. Harris

New York Theatre Workshop/John Golden Theatre



Directed by Colette Robert

Written by Zora Howard

Page 73



Girl from the North Country

Directed by Conor McPherson

Book by Conor McPherson, Music and Lyrics by Bob Dylan

Belasco Theatre


Jagged Little Pill

Directed by Diane Paulus

Music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, Lyrics by Alanis Morissette, Book by Diablo Cody

Broadhurst Theatre


Moulin Rouge!

Directed by Alex Timbers

Book by John Logan, Music and Lyrics by Various Artists

Al Hirschfeld Theatre



Directed by Annie Tippe

Written by Dave Malloy

Signature Theatre Company


The Secret Life of Bees

Directed by Sam Gold

Book by Lynn Nottage, Music by Duncan Sheik, Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead

Atlantic Theater Company


Sing Street

Directed by Rebecca Taichman

Book by Enda Walsh, Music and Lyrics by Gary Clark and John Carney

New York Theatre Workshop



Directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage

Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss

Brooks Atkinson Theatre


Soft Power

Directed by Leigh Silverman

Book and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang, Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

Public Theater


A Strange Loop

Directed by Stephen Brackett

Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

Playwrights Horizons


Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd

Book by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins, Music by Various Artists

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre




Directed by Jamie Lloyd

Written by Harold Pinter

Jacobs Theatre


for colored girls who have considered suicide

/when the rainbow is enuf

Directed by Leah C. Gardiner

Written by Ntozake Shange

Public Theater


Fires in the Mirror

Directed by Saheem Ali

Written by Anna Deavere Smith

Signature Theatre Company


Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune

Directed by Arin Arbus

Written by Terrence McNally

Broadhurst Theatre


Judgment Day

Directed by Richard Jones

Written by Ödön von Horváth, Adapted by Christopher Shinn

Park Avenue Armory



Directed by Simon Stone

Written by Simon Stone after Euripides

Brooklyn Academy of Music


Native Son

Directed by Seret Scott

Written by Nambi E. Kelley, based on the novel by Richard Wright

The Acting Company


The Rose Tattoo

Directed by Trip Cullman

Written by Tennessee Williams

Roundabout Theatre Company


A Soldier’s Play

Directed by Kenny Leon

Written by Charles Fuller

Roundabout Theatre Company


The Woman in Black

Directed by Robin Herford

Written by Stephen Mallatratt, based on the novel by Susan Hill

The McKittrick Hotel



Enter Laughing

Directed by Stuart Ross

Book by Joseph Stein, Music and Lyrics by Stan Daniels

York Theatre Company


Little Shop of Horrors

Directed by Michael Mayer

Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken

Westside Theatre


Rock of Ages

Directed by Kristin Hanggi

Book by Chris D’Arienzo, Music and Lyrics by Various Artists

New World Stages


The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Directed by Kathleen Marshall

Book and New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson

The Transport Group


West Side Story

Directed by Ivo van Hove

Book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Broadway Theatre



David Acton, The Woman in Black

Jeffrey Bean, Dublin Carol

Ato Blankson-Wood, The Rolling Stone and Slave Play

Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors

Danielle Brooks, Much Ado About Nothing

Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!

Rose Byrne, Medea

Len Cariou, Harry Townsend’s Last Stand

Patrice Johnson Chevannes, runboyrun & In Old Age

Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Kate del Castillo, the way she spoke

Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements

Raúl Esparza, Seared

Francesca Faridany, The Half-Life of Marie Curie

Halley Feiffer, The Pain of My Belligerence

Danyel Fulton, Broadbend, Arkansas

Annie Golden, Broadway Bounty Hunter

Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Where We Stand

David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play

Jonathan Groff, Little Shop of Horrors

Jake Gyllenhaal, Sea Wall/A Life

Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal

Paul Hilton, The Inheritance

Kathryn Hunter, Timon of Athens

Galen Ryan Kane, Native Son

Brittney Mack, Six

April Matthis, Toni Stone

Susannah Millonzi, The Crucible

Kate Mulgrew, The Half-Life of Marie Curie

Joe Ngo, Cambodian Rock Band

Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.

Brenock O’Connor, Sing Street

Okwui Okpokwasili, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!

Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

Ben Porter, The Woman in Black

Isaac Powell, West Side Story

Jonathan Pryce, The Height of the Storm

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Michael Shannon, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Tom Sturridge, Sea Wall/A Life

Marisa Tomei, The Rose Tattoo

Blair Underwood, A Soldier’s Play

Michael Urie, Grand Horizons

Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Michael Benjamin Washington, Fires in the Mirror

Portia, Stew

The Drama League also wishes to acknowledge the previous recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award who appeared in Broadway or Off-Broadway productions this season.  As the Award can only be won once in a performer’s lifetime, they are ineligible to be nominated; however, their exemplary work is recognized and applauded.

Harvey Fierstein, Bella Bella

Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside

Audra McDonald, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune


the drama league announces the nominees for the 86th annual drama league awards
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer announced the nominees for The 86th Annual Drama League Awards. Courtesy of Drama League

The Drama League Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements on and off Broadway, is a tradition we have been honored to provide since 1935. 

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.


#GratitudeAwards #WeAreAllWinners #GhostLightCampaign