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‘A Strange Loop,’ ‘The Inheritance,’ ‘Moulin Rouge!’ Top Drama Desk Awards

The 65th annual ceremony celebrating the 2019-20 theatre season was presented online.

NEW YORK CITY: The Drama Desk Awards hosted their 65th ceremony on June 13 on and

Hosted by Frank DiLella from Times Square, the awards ceremony included guests Tituss Burgess, James Corden, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Beanie Feldstein, Santino Fontana, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Ashley Park, Andrew Rannells, Ali Stroker, and Susan Stroman.

The virtual event also celebrated the life and legacy of producer Harold Prince with its first lifetime achievement honor (posthumously, obviously). The Drama Desk Awards will annually bestow the Harold Prince Award to recognize outstanding contributions to theatre. This year, the honor was awarded posthumously to Prince, who died on July 31, 2019.

The complete winners list is below:

Outstanding Play
The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez

Outstanding Musical
A Strange Loop, Playwrights Horizons/Page 73 Productions

Outstanding Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play, Roundabout Theatre Company

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Outstanding Director of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Choreography
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Music
Dave Malloy, Octet

Outstanding Lyrics
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill

Outstanding Music in a Play
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Projection Design
Luke Halls, West Side Story

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design
Campbell Young Associates, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Outstanding Solo Performance
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton

Unique Theatrical Experience
Is This A Room, Vineyard Theatre

Outstanding Fight Choreography
Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play

Outstanding Adaptation
A Christmas Carol, by Jack Thorne

Outstanding Puppet Design
Raphael Mishler, Tumacho

In addition, the Drama Desk Awards gave some special awards. The Ensemble Award was given to the eight performers in Dave Malloy’s a cappella musical Octet: Adam Bashian, Kim Blanck, Starr Busby, Alex Gibson, Justin Gregory Lopez, J.D. Mollison, Margo Seibert, and Kuhoo Verma.

The Sam Norkin Award went to Mary Bacon, who performed in Coal Country at the Public Theater and Nothing Gold Can Stay presented by Partial Comfort Productions this season.

The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky, and James Wesley were also recognized for connecting members of the theatre community and lifting spirits during the coronavirus crisis. The Actors Fund has worked tirelessly to provide financial and health resources to those impacted by the pandemic; Rudetsky and Wesley’s semi-daily “Stars in the House” webcast is raising money for the Actors Fund, while providing performances, reunions, and medical updates.

Also recognized was the Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s “Mobile Theater,” which began in 1957 and evolved into the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater.

The Drama Desk Awards honored WP Theater and Julia Miles, the company’s founder, who died this spring. Formerly known as the Women’s Project and Productions, the company began in 1978 at American Place Theatre, where Miles served as associate to artistic director Wynn Handman, who also died this spring. WP is the largest, most enduring American company with the mission of nurturing and producing works by female-identified creators.

Lastly, Claire Warden was awarded for her pioneering work as an intimacy choreographer in such recent projects as Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Linda Vista, and her leadership in the rapidly emerging movement of intimacy direction. As part of the creative team of Intimacy Directors & Coordinators and Director of Engagement for and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, she is helping create theatre experiences that are safer for performers and more authentic for contemporary audiences.

The Drama Desks were founded in 1949 by New York Times arts reporter Sam Zolotow, Edith Oliver of The New Yorker, and New York Post critic Vernon Rice, among others.

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