Awards Season 2020: Drama Desk Award Winners

The world is upside down, but at least some of the awards shows are soldiering on.

A virtual version of the Drama Desk Awards was broadcast on Saturday, June 13. For the musicals, the Off Broadway A Strange Loop and Moulin Rouge! were the biggest winners of the night, each taking home five prizes apiece. Little Shop of Horrors, Jagged Little Pill and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical each won two awards, and West Side Story one.

The ceremony, which was hosted by Frank DiLella and featured tons of Broadway royalty joining from their living rooms, can be watched in full here.

Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to all of the artists sharing their time, talents and imaginations with us, even while the Great White Way sits empty. We can’t wait to see you all back in action again!

The full list of nominees appears below, with the winners marked with :

Outstanding Play
The Inheritance
Cambodian Rock Band
Greater Clements
Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Heroes of the Fourth Turning

Outstanding Musical
A Strange Loop
Octet
The Secret Life of Bees
Soft Power
The Wrong Man

Outstanding Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play
Fefu and Her Friends
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Mac Beth
Much Ado About Nothing

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Little Shop of Horrors
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
West Side Story

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

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Rose Byrne, Medea
Emily Davis, Is This a Room
April Mathis, Toni Stone
Ruth Negga, Hamlet

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outstanding Director of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Jessica Blank, Coal Country
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Tina Satter, Is This a Room
Erica Schmidt, Mac Beth

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

Outstanding Choreography
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, West Side Story
Keone Madrid and Mari Madrid, Beyond Babel
Kathleen Marshall, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

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

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

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

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

Outstanding Music in a Play
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Steve Earle, Coal Country
Frightened Rabbit, Square Go
Jim Harbourne, Feral
Adam Seidel, Jane Bruce, and Daniel Ocanto, Original Sound

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

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

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Asa Benally, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Montana Levi Blanco, Fefu and Her Friends
Toni-Leslie James, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Antony McDonald, Judgment Day
Kaye Voyce, Coriolanus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unique Theatrical Experience
Is This a Room, Vineyard Theatre
Beyond Babel, Hideaway Circus
Feral, Tortoise in a Nutshell/Cumbernauld Theatre/59E59
Midsummer: A Banquet, Food of Love Productions/Third Rail Projects

Outstanding Fight Choreography
Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play
Vicki Manderson, Square Go
UnkleDave’s Fight House, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Outstanding Adaptation
A Christmas Carol, by Jack Thorne
Judgment Day, by Christopher Shinn
Mojada, by Luis Alfaro
Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, by Halley Feiffer

Outstanding Puppet Design
Raphael Mishler, Tumacho
Rockefeller Productions, Paddington Gets in a Jam
Amanda Villalobos, Is This a Room

Ensemble Award
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

Sam Norkin Award
To performer Mary Bacon, recognized for her work this season in Off-Broadway’s Coal Country at the Public Theater and Nothing Gold Can Stay from Partial Comfort Productions

Additional Special Awards
The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky, and James Wesley, for connecting the theatre community and lifting spirits during the coronavirus crisis through the ongoing Stars in the House series

The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, offering free Shakespeare throughout the five boroughs, including prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers

WP Theater and Julia Miles, the company’s founder who died this spring.

Claire Warden, whose work as an intimacy choreographer was featured in such recent projects as Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Linda Vista

Two productions — the Broadway transfers of Slave Play and Girl From the North Country — were only deemed eligible for elements considered “new work” to the show. Similarly, the new engagements of Sea Wall/A Life, Derren Brown: Secret, Slava’s Snowshow, and Pip’s Island were not considered as they had been deemed eligible in previous seasons.

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