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The 2015 Drama Desk Award winners were announced recently, and among the crop are some deserving and talented actors.  The awards are presented annually to recognize excellence in New York theatre productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway, and are considered a significant theater distinction, second only to the Tony Awards. This year’s awards ceremony yielded big wins for three actors who are no stranger to Broadway Black.

k todd freemanK. Todd Freeman was awarded Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Airline Highway, in which he plays Sissy Nana, a den mother of sorts to a group of ragtag characters of the Hummingbird Hotel; his performance was described as having “vibrant comic panache” by the New York Times (and he’s also nominated for his second Tony Award this year for the same role; his first nomination was for The Song Jacob Zulu).

renee eliseNext, Renee Elise Goldsberry won Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Hamilton.  Portraying the role of Angelica, Alexander Hamilton’s intellectual soulmate, and the eldest of the three Schuyler sisters.  New York Daily News says the musical “could’ve been another ho-hum bio, but like the illegitimate orphan-turned-power player it celebrates, the robustly original, infectiously entertaining new musical “Hamilton” beats the odds and far exceeds expectations.”

ThompsonJohnDouglasFinally, John Douglas Thompson was recognized with a special award which recognizes excellence and significant contributions to the theatre.  This season, Thompson was in Tamburlaine the Great and The Iceman Cometh, and was noted for “his commanding presence, classical expertise, and vocal prowess,” according to the Drama Desk Awards.  The New York Times calls Thompson “one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation.”

A huge congrats to all the nominees and winners including costume designer Paul Tazewell for Hamilton, whose remarkable roles run the gamut of dramatic expression, and whose work is being recognized by peers and critics alike. Read the entire list of winners below.

(**Winners are in bold and starred) 

Outstanding Play
Clare Barron, You Got Older
Lisa D’Amour, Airline Highway
Anthony Giardina, The City of Conversation
Stephen Adly Guirgis, Between Riverside and Crazy
Elizabeth Irwin, My Manãna Comes
**Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Jack Thorne, Let the Right One In

Outstanding Musical
An American in Paris
**Hamilton
Fly By Night
Pretty Filthy
Something Rotten!
The Visit

Outstanding Revival of a Play
**The Elephant Man
Fashions for Men
Ghosts
The Iceman Cometh
Tamburlaine the Great
The Wayside Motor Inn

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Into the Woods
**The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
Pageant
Side Show

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Bill Pullman, Sticks and Bones
**Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Brooke Bloom, You Got Older
Kathleen Chalfant, A Walk in the Woods
Kristin Griffith, The Fatal Weakness
Jan Maxwell, The City of Conversation
**Helen Mirren, The Audience
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Tonya Pinkins, Rasheeda Speaking

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
**Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Jeremy Kushnier, Atomic
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Matthew Morrison, Finding Neverland
Ryan Silverman, Side Show 

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, John & Jen
**Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Erin Davie, Side Show
Lisa Howard, It Shoulda Been You
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
F. Murray Abraham, It’s Only a Play
Reed Birney, You Got Older
**K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Jonathan Hadary, Rocket to the Moon
Jason Butler Harner, The Village Bike
Jonathan Hogan, Pocatello
José Joaquin Perez, My Mañana Comes

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
**Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

Beth Dixon, The City of Conversation
Julie Halston, You Can’t Take It with You
Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, To the Bone
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Julie White, Airline Highway

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
**Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Peter Friedman, Fly By Night
Josh Grisetti, It Shoulda Been You
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Carolee Carmello, Finding Neverland
Tyne Daly, It Shoulda Been You
Elizabeth A. Davis, Allegro
**Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Luba Mason, Pretty Filthy
Nancy Opel, Honeymoon in Vegas
Elizabeth Stanley, On the Town

Outstanding Director of a Play
**Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Anne Kauffman, You Got Older
Lila Neugebauer, The Wayside Motor Inn
Austin Pendleton, Between Riverside and Crazy
Joe Tantalo, Deliverance
John Tiffany, Let the Right One In

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Carolyn Cantor, Fly By Night
Bill Condon, Side Show
John Doyle, The Visit
**Thomas Kail, Hamilton
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Warren Carlyle, On the Twentieth Century
Steven Hoggett, The Last Ship
Austin McCormick, Rococo Rouge
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten
**Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Music
Jason Robert Brown, Honeymoon in Vegas
Michael Friedman, The Fortress of Solitude
John Kander, The Visit
Dave Malloy, Ghost Quartet
**Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Sting, The Last Ship

Outstanding Lyrics
Jason Robert Brown, Honeymoon in Vegas
Fred Ebb, The Visit
Michael Friedman, The Fortress of Solitude
Karey Kirkpatrick & Wayne Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
**Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Hunter Bell & Lee Overtree, Found
Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
Craig Lucas, An American in Paris
Terrence McNally, The Visit
**Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, & Michael Mitnick, Fly By Night

Outstanding Orchestrations
**Christopher Austin, An American in Paris
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Allegro
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship
Don Sebesky, Larry Blank, Jason Robert Brown, & Charlie Rosen, Honeymoon in Vegas

Outstanding Music in a Play
Cesar Alvarez, An Octoroon
Danny Blackburn & Bryce Hodgson, Deliverance
Sean Cronin, Kill Me Like You Mean It
Bongi Duma, Generations
Freddi Price, The Pigeoning
**Arthur Solari & Jane Shaw, Tamburlaine the Great

Outstanding Revue
Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging!
**Just Jim Dale
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion
Lonesome Traveler

Outstanding Set Design
**Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
Christine Jones, Let The Right One In
David Korins, Hamilton
Mimi Lien, An Octoroon
Scott Pask, The Visit
Daniel Zimmerman, Fashions for Men

Outstanding Costume Design
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
Andrea Varga, The Fatal Weakness
**Catherine Zuber, Gigi

Outstanding Lighting Design
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
**Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Paule Constable & David Plater, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Maruti Evans, Deliverance
Natasha Katz, The Iceman Cometh
Ben Stanton, Our Lady of Kibeho

Outstanding Projection Design
59 Productions, An American in Paris
Roger Hanna & Price Johnston, Donogoo
Darrel Maloney, Found
Peter Nigrini, Our Lady of Kibeho
**Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Austin Switser, Big Love

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Side Show
Scott Lehrer, The King & I
Scott Lehrer & Drew Levy, Honeymoon in Vegas
Brian Ronan, The Last Ship
**Nevin Steinberg, Hamilton
Jon Weston, An American in Paris

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Nathan Davis, The Other Mozart
Ien Denio, Deliverance
**Ian Dickinson (for Autograph), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Gareth Fry, Let the Right One In
John Gromada, Lives of the Saints
Matt Tierney, Our Lady of Kibeho

Outstanding Solo Performance
Christina Bianco, Application Pending
Jonny Donahoe, Every Brilliant Thing
Tom Dugan, Wiesenthal
Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane
Joely Richardson, The Belle of Amherst
**Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Unique Theatrical Experience
Catch Me!
Everybody Gets Cake
The Human Symphony
**Queen of the Night
Rap Guide to Religion

Special Awards:

The ensemble of the actors in the Off Broadway production of A. R. Gurney’s The Wayside Motor Inn: Kelly AuCoin, Jon DeVries, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Rebecca Henderson, Marc Kudisch, Jenn Lyon, Lizbeth Mackay, David McElwee, Ismenia Mendes, and Will Pullen.

Playwright Bess Wohl, awarded the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award

Actor John Douglas Thompson

Off Broadway’s Ensemble Studio Theatre

“Hamilton” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler

 

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