By Andrew Gans
24 Apr 2012
|Photo by David Johnson|
The three artists will announce the nominees for Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Revival of a Musical and Distinguished Performance Award.
As previously reported, The Drama League will honor Alan Menken, Rosie O'Donnell and Diane Paulus at the 78th Annual Drama League Awards ceremony. Menken (Newsies, Leap of Faith, Sister Act) will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in "recognition of his contribution to the musical theatre"; stage, television and movie star Rosie O'Donnell (Fiddler on the Roof, Seussical, Grease) will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award "for her continuing efforts in promoting live theatre"; and Drama League Directors Project alum Diane Paulus (Hair, Porgy and Bess), the artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre, will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing (formerly named the Julia Hansen Award).
The Drama League Awards Eligibility Committee recently determined that productions transferring from Off-Broadway to Broadway, or vice versa, in successive years are now eligible for consideration in both seasons.
"With the tradition of out-of-town tryouts waning, the theatre industry has challenged all of us who love the theatre to see transfers in a new way, not only as an extension of a production's life span, but as an opportunity to re-imagine and re-discover," said executive director Gabriel Shanks in a statement. "A transfer isn't just a change in real estate; it requires a re-thinking of the production from top to bottom, with different production values and needs. It seemed increasingly unfair to disqualify shows simply because they started their life Off-Broadway rather than out-of-town."
First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members — specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.