The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked some major havoc with concerts, sporting events, and awards galas.  Many events have been put on hold; while others have been canceled.  And a few have been moved online.

Among those events moved online is the annual Drama Desk Awards celebrating the productions from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway.

The 65th annual Drama Desk Awards are scheduled for May 31 and will be broadcast on NY1: On Stage, NY1.com, and DramaDeskAwards.com.

Drama Desk Awards executive producer and Broadway Brands CEO Matt Britten spoke on the decision saying, “though these are challenging times, we knew we wanted to find some way to honor this year’s Drama Desk Award nominees and recipients, as well as to bring some small sense of normalcy and hope to New York’s theater community.  I want to thank NY1, as well as the team at Joey Parnes Productions, for stepping up to make this happen for the New York theatre community and theatre fans everywhere. Good things happen when you work with good people.”

Winners of the annual Drama Desk Awards are determined by journalists, critics, editors, publishers, and broadcasters that cover the Broadway events.

This year’s awards show is being dedicated to former Drama Desk President Wilson Wolfe who is one of the many who have died as a result of the Covid-19 virus.

The musical “Soft Power” tops the list of nominations for this year with eleven; “The Wrong Man”, “Octet”, and “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven” were among those productions that garnered multiple nominations.

2020 Drama Desk nominees:
Outstanding Play:
“Cambodian Rock Band”
“Greater Clements”
“Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
“Heroes of the Fourth Turning”
“The Inheritance”

Outstanding Musical:
“Octet”
“The Secret Life of Bees”
“Soft Power”
“A Straight Loop”
“The Wrong Man”

Outstanding Revival of a Play:
“Fefu and Her Friends”
“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf”
“Mac Beth”
“A Soldier’s Play”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical:
“Little Shop of Horros”
“The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
“West Side Story”

Outstanding Actor in a Play:
Charles Busch in “The Confession of Lily Dare”
Edmund Donovan in “Greater Clements”
Raul Esparza in “Seared”
Francis Jue in “Cambodian Rock Band”
Triney Sandoval in “72 Miles to Go…”
Kyle Soller in “The Inheritance”

Outstanding Actress in a Play:
Rose Byrne in “Madea”
Liza Colon’Zayas in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
Emily Davis in “Is This a Room”
April Mathis in “Toni Stone”
Ruth Negga in “Hamlet”

Outstanding Actor in a Musical:
David Aron Damane in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
Chris Swan in “Enter Laughing”
Joshua Henry in “The Wrong Man”
Francis Jue in “Soft Power”
Larry Owens in “A Strange Loop”

Outstanding Actress in a Musical:
Tammy Blanchard in “Little Shop of Horrors”
Beth Malone in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
Saycon Sengbloh in “The Secret Life of Bees”
Elizabeth Stanley in “Jagged Little Pill”
Adrienne Warren in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:
Victor Almanzar in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
Esteban Andres Cruz in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
David Alan Grier in “A Soldier’s Play”
Paul Hilton in “The Inheritance”
Chris Perfetti in “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play:
Patrice Johnson in “Runboyrun” and “In Old Age”
Kristina Poe in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
Belange Rodriguez in “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”
Elizabeth Rodriguez in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
Lois Smith in “The Inheritance”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical:
George Abud in “Emojiland”
Christian Borle in “Little Shop of Horrors”
Jay Armstrong Johnson in “Scotland, PA”
Conrad Ricamora in “Soft Power”
Ryan Vasquez in “The Wrong Man”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical:
Yesenia Ayala in “West Side Story”
Paula Leggett Chase in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
LaChanze in “The Secret Life of Bees”
Alyse Alan Louis in “Soft Power”
Lauren Patten in “Jagged Little Pill”

Outstanding Director of a Play:
Jessica Blank i “Coal Country”
Stephen Daldry for “The Inheritance”
John Ortiz for “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”
Tina Satter for “Is this a Room”
Erica Schmidt for “Mac Beth”

Outstanding Director of a Musical:
Stephen Brackett for “A Strange Loop”
Thomas Kail for “The Wrong Man”
Kathleen Marshall for “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
Leigh Silverman for “Soft Power”
Annie Tippe for “Octet”

Outstanding Choreography:
Camille A. Brown for “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf”
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for “West Side Story”
Keone and Mari Madrid for “Beyond Babel”
Kathleen Marshall for “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
Sonya Tayeh for “Moulin Rouge!”
Travis Wall for “The Wrong Man”

Outstanding Music:
Ross Golan in “The Wrong Man”
Michael R. Jackson for “A Strange Loop”
Dave Malloy for “Octet”
Joshua Rosenblum for “Einstein’s Dreams”
Duncan Sheik for “The Secret Life of Bees”
Jeannie Tesori for “Soft Power

Outstanding Lyrics:
Susan Birkenhead for “The Secret Life of Bees’
Adam Gwon for “Scotland PA”
Michael R. Jackson for “A Strange Loop”
Joanne Sydney Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum for “Einstein’s Dreams”
Dave Malloy for “Octet”
Mark Saltzman for “Romeo & Bernadette”

Outstanding Book of a Musical:
David Henry Hwang for “Soft Power”
Michael R. Jackson for “A Strange Loop”
Dave Malloy for “Octet”
Lynn Nottage for “The Secret Life of Bees”
Mark Saltzman for “Romeo & Bernadette”
Dick Scanlan for “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”

Outstanding Orchestrations:
Tom Kitt for “Jagged Little Pill”
Alex Lacamoire for “The Wrong Man”
Or Matias and Dave Malloy for “Octet”
Danny Troob, John Clancy, and Larry Hochman for “Soft Power”
Jonathan Tunick for “West Side Story”

Outstanding Music in a Play:
Steve Earle for “Coal Country”, “Frightened Rabbit”, and “Square Go”
Jim Harbourne for “Feral”
Martha Redbone for “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf”
Adam Seidel, Jane Bruce, and Daniel Ocanto for “Original Sound”

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play:
Catherine Cornell for “Mac Beth”
Clint Ramos for “Grand Horizons”
Adam Rigg for “Fefu and Her Friends”
Paul Steinberg for “Judgement Day”
B.T. Whitehill for “The Confession of Lily Dare”

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical:
Julian Crouch for “Little Shop of Horrors”
Anna Louizos for “Scotland, PA”
Derek McLane for “Moulin Rouge!”
Clint Ramos for “Soft Power”
Amy Rubin and Brittany Vasta for “Octet”

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play:
Asa Benally for “Blues for an Alabama Sky”
Montana Levi Blanco for “Fefu and Her Friends”
Toni-Leslie James for “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf”
Antony McDonald for “Judgement Day”
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn for “The Confession of Lily Dare”
Kaye Voyce for “Coriolanus”

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical:
Vanessa Leuck for “Emojiland”
Jeff Mahshie for “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”
Mark Thompson for “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”
Anita Yavich for “Soft Power”
Catherine Zuber for “Moulin Rouge!”

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play:
Isabella Byrd for “Heroes of the Fourth Turning”
Oona Curley for “Dr. Ride’s American Beach House”
Heather Gilbert for “The Sound Inside”
Mimi Jordan Sherin for “Judgement Day”
Yi Zhao for “Greater Clements”

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical:
Betsy Adams for “The Wrong Man”
Jane Cox for “The Secret Life of Bees”
Herrick Goldman for “Einstein’s Dreams”
Bruno Poet for “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”
Justin Townsend for Moulin Rouge!”

Outstanding Projection Design:
David Bengali for “Einstein’s Dreams”
Julia Frey for “Medea”
Luke Halls for “West Side Story”
Lisa Renkel and POSSIBLE for “Emojiland”
Hannah Wasileski for “Fires in the Mirror”

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play:
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid for “The Inheritance”
Justin Ellington for “Heroes of the Fourth Turning”
Mikhail Fiksel for “Dana H.”
Palmer Hefferan for “Fefu and Her Friends”
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada for “Is This a Room”

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical:
Tom Gibbons for “West Side Story”
Kai Harada for “Soft Power”
Peter Hylenski for “Moulin Rouge!”
Hidenori Nakajo for “Octet”
Nevin Steinberg for “The Wrong Man”

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design:
Campbell Young Associates for “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”
Cookie Jordan for “Fefu and Her Friends”
Nikiya Mathis for “STEW”
Tom Watson for “The Great Society”
Bobbie Zlotnik for “Emojiland”

Outstanding Solo Performance:
David Cale for “We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time”
Kate del Castillo for “the way she spoke”
Laura Linney for “My Name is Lucy Barton”
Jacqueline Novak for “Get on Your Knees”
Deidre O’Connell for “Dana H.”

Outstanding Fight Choregraphy:

Vicki Manderson for “Square Go”
Thomas Schall for “A Soldier’s Play”
UnkleDave’s Fight House for “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven”

Outstanding Adaptation:
“A Christmas Carol” by Jack Thorne
“Judgement Day” by Christopher Shinn
“Mojada” by Luis Alfaro
“Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow” by Halley Feiffer

Outstanding Puppet Design:
Raphael Mishler for “Turmacho”
Rockefeller Productions for “Paddington Gets in a Jam”
Amanda Villalobos for “Is this a Room”

The Ensemble Award goes to the cast of “Octet”

The Sam Norkin Award goes to Mary Bacon for her work in “Coal Country” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley from theThe Actors Fund for helping to keep the theatre community connected during the corona virus pandemic.

The Mobile Unit of The Public Theater for providing Shakespearean plays throughout the greater New York area.

Claire Warden for her choreography work.

 

feature photo credit: the Drama Desk Awards Facebook page