Winners for the 66th Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced today.
This year’s Drama Desk Awards will take place at Sardi’s Restaurant (234 W 44th Street) on June 14th from 3:00 – 6:00pm. The full list of winners is available at the website www.DramaDeskAwards.com, and below.
In keeping with the Drama Desk‘s mission, the nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway between July 2, 2021 and May 1, 2022 for this year’s Awards. Only live performances were eligible – if performances were also available for streaming, 21 or more unique live performances were required.
The Drama Desk Awards are produced by Tony Award winner Scott Mauro/Scott Mauro Entertainment and the show is being written by six-time Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch.
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.
The 2021-2022 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: Martha Wade Steketee (Chair; freelance, UrbanExcavations.com), Peter Filichia (Broadway Radio), Kenji Fujishima (freelance: TheaterMania), Juan Michael Porter II (TheBody.com; freelance: TDF Stages, Did They Like It?, New York Theatre Guide), Ayanna Prescod (freelance: Variety, New York Theatre Guide, Today Tix), Zachary Stewart (TheaterMania), and Diep Tran (freelance: Backstage, American Theatre, Broadway News, New York Theater Guide).
David Zinn, Kimberly Akimbo, Atlantic Theater Company
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Linda Cho, The Chinese Lady, The Public Theater
Gregory Gale, Fairycakes
Tilly Grimes, The Alchemist, Red Bull Theater
Qween Jean, On Sugarland, New York Theatre Workshop
**Jennifer Moeller, Clyde’s, Second Stage Theater
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Machine Dazzle, The Hang, HERE Arts Center
Susan Hilferty, Funny Girl
Santo Loquasto, The Music Man
**Gabriella Slade, Six
Catherine Zuber, Intimate Apparel, Lincoln Center Theater
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play (tie)
**Christopher Akerlind, Clyde’s, Second Stage Theater
Reza Behjat, English, Atlantic Theater Company
Isabella Byrd, Sanctuary City, New York Theatre Workshop
**Amith Chandrashaker, Prayer for the French Republic, Manhattan Theatre Club
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Cullud Wattah, The Public Theater
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical (tie)
Natasha Katz, Diana
**Natasha Katz, MJ
**Bradley King, Flying Over Sunset, Lincoln Center Theater
Jennifer Tipton, Intimate Apparel, Lincoln Center Theater
Outstanding Projection Design
**59 Productions, Flying Over Sunset, Lincoln Center Theater
David Bengali, Twilight: Lost Angeles, 1992, Signature Theatre
Stefania Bulbarella and Alex Basco Koch, Space Dogs, MCC Theater
Shawn Duan, The Chinese Lady, The Public Theater
Sven Ortel, Thoughts of a Colored Man
Outstanding Sound Design for a Play
Tyler Kieffer, Seven Deadly Sins, Tectonic Theater Project & Madison Wells Live
Hidenori Nakajo and Ryan Rumery, Autumn Royal, Irish Repertory Theatre
**Ben and Max Ringham, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Jamie Lloyd Company at Brooklyn Academy of Music
Mikaal Sulaiman, Sanctuary City, New York Theatre Workshop
Lee Kinney, Selling Kabul, Playwrights Horizons
Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Company
Paul Gatehouse, Six
Kai Harada, Kimberly Akimbo,Atlantic Theater Company
**Gareth Owen, MJ
Outstanding Wig and Hair
Matthew B. Armentrout, Paradise Square
**David Brian Brown, Mrs. Doubtfire
Paul Huntley, Diana
Charles G. LaPointe, MJ
Outstanding Solo Performance
Alex Edelman, Just for Us, The Cherry Lane Theatre
Arturo Luís Soria, Ni Mi Madre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
**Kristina Wong, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord, New York Theatre Workshop
Unique Theatrical Experience
**Seven Deadly Sins, Tectonic Theater Project & Madison Wells Live
**Merry Wives, by Jocelyn Bioh, The Public Theater (Free Shakespeare in the Park)
The Alchemist, by Jeffrey Hatcher, Red Bull Theater
Outstanding Puppet Design
Amanda Villalobos, Wolf Play, Soho Rep.
**James Ortiz, The Skin of Our Teeth, Lincoln Center Theater
Rockefeller Productions, Winnie the Pooh, The Hundred Acre Theatre at Theatre Row
Harold S. Prince Lifetime Achievement Award
In four decades as playwright, novelist, actor, and director, Alice Childress (1912-1994) challenged racism with engrossing stories and memorable characters. When a New York producer demanded revisions to soften the impact of Trouble in Mind, after an initial run Off Broadway and prior to its Broadway debut, Childress withdrew the script. Sixty-five years later, the Drama Desk celebrates the long-delayed Broadway premiere of this timeless masterpiece and salutes Childress as a towering figure in contemporary theater history.
In Six, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele bring to musical life the women who married England’s King Henry VIII. The fanciful result is a buoyant dramatization of their individually purposeful and collectively empowering journeys.
The Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award
This season, as a woman hiding her brother from the Taliban in Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul and an English instructor straddling two very different cultures in Sanaz Toossi’s English, Marjan Neshat embodied disparate characters so fully that it was hard to recognize the single actor in the two roles. Whether in drama or comedy, Neshat mines the playwright’s text for a vast panoply of emotions that yield vivid, intricate portrayals of the parts she undertakes.
Additional Special Awards
Dede Ayite seems to have costumed half the actors of this theater season with her designs for Merry Wives, Seven Deadly Sins, The Last of the Love Letters, Chicken and Biscuits, Slave Play, Nollywood Dreams, American Buffalo, and How I learned to Drive. Whether dressing working-class Marylanders of the 1960s, amateur criminals of the 1970s, or West African immigrants in today’s Harlem, Ayite has a knack for conveying characters’ means, values, and aspirations before the actors utter a word.
Adam Rigg enhanced storytelling through wildly varying scenic designs this season including: a house in wood, shadow, and reflective glass that draws the audience into the Flint, Michigan water crisis in Cullud Wattah; a community cul-de-sac where trauma and history are celebrated in On Sugarland; and the falling walls, flower-covered hillsides, and functional seaside fun ride of The Skin of Our Teeth.
With the category-defying Oratorio for Living Things, Heather Christian aims to encompass all human existence in a single inventive and startlingly beautiful work. In times of pandemic, war, and social upheaval, Christian’s work (directed by Lee Sunday Evans and brought to life by a superb cast and creative team) is an awe-inspiring reminder that, even in the darkest times, there will always be artistic peaks to scale.