"The Visit" on Broadway, starring Chita Rivera, has played previously at Goodman Theatre, Signature Theatre and Williamstown Theatre Festival. (Photo by Thom Kaine)

Chita Rivera Wins for Performance at Drama League Awards

Special awards also went to Joel Grey, WNET’s New York theatre broadcasts and director Stephen Daldry.

NEW YORK CITY: The Drama League held its 81st annual awards at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 15th. The show, which honors Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre, was hosted by Stephen Boyer, with his Hand to God puppet costar Tyrone on hand. This year’s winners were made up entirely of Broadway productions. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, An American in Paris, The King and I and You Can’t Take It With You won the production awards, and Chita Rivera took home the performance award.

In addition to the competitive awards, Tony and Oscar winner Joel Grey was honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award. Neal Shapiro and David Horn of WNET, the public television station that regularly showcases New York theatre in national broadcasts, received the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award. Stephen Daldry was honored with the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.

Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director Mandy Greenfield also announced a new partnership between WTF and the Drama League: The Drama League/Williamstown Theatre Festival Residence, which will support early-career directors. The first recipient of the fellowship is Dustin Wills, who will develop a new project with WTF. That project will subsequently receive a developmental workshop at the Drama League.

“Williamstown and the Drama League share a passion for nurturing young artists,” said Drama League executive director Gabriel Shanks in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be joining with them to support directorial vision in this new and unprecedented effort.”

The Drama League Awards were first awarded in 1922, making them the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are voted on by audience members, specifically Drama League members.

A complete listing of winners is below.

DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
An American in Paris

DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

DISTINGUISHED REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
The King and I

DISTINGUISHED REVIVAL OF A PLAY
You Can’t Take It with You

DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD
Chita Rivera, The Visit

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL THEATRE
Joel Grey

UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TO THE THEATRE
WNET: Neal Shapiro and David Horn

FOUNDERS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN DIRECTING
Stephen Daldry

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