Remarks by Drama Desk President Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk Awards Executive Producer Robert R. Blume, Nominating Committee Chairperson Barbara Siegel and Randie Levine-Miller, Drama Desk Director of Special Events, who has produced this event at the Friars Club for the past 15 years, will also be part of the morning event.
The Drama Desk nominees will receive their Official Nomination Certificates at a gala cocktail reception May 5 at 3:30 PM at a midtown venue to be announced.
The 2010-2011 Nominating Committee includes Barbara Siegel (Chairperson) TalkinBroadway.com, TheaterMania.com; Jason Clark, Slant Magazine, TheaterOnline.com; Anita Gates, Freelance, The New York Times; Lawrence Harbison, Senior Editor & Columnist for Smith & Kraus, Inc.; Gerard Raymond, Freelance, Back Stage, Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV; and Douglas Strassler, OffOffOnline.com, Show Business Weekly.
The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards, which will feature musical numbers from the nominated New York stage productions, will be held May 23 at 8 PM at the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, located at 34th Street and 8th Avenue. There will be a gala sit-down dinner, prepared by celebrity chefs, during which the awards will be presented to outstanding productions and creative talent for the 2010-2011 season.
The Drama Desk Awards ceremony, which will be directed by Jeff Kalpak, will be filmed in HD for a television special that will be given two primetime airings plus four additional national broadcasts on Ovation between June 2 and June 15.
Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, currently co-starring in La Cage aux Folles at the Longacre Theatre, will be the host of the awards ceremony and the TV special. The TV special will be produced by the independent production company Heflin Filmworks. Lance Heflin will be the producer of the TV special and Mark Stroman will serve as the TV executive producer. Terry Rohnke ("Saturday Night Live") will be the television director.
"This is the most exciting announcement I have made since becoming Executive Producer of the Annual Drama Desk Awards in 1999," said Robert R. Blume in a statement. "In the 13 years since, my team and I have diligently worked to enhance the visibility and importance of the Drama Desk Awards. We have made giant strides in that direction but none bigger than the ones we are announcing here today. We are delighted to welcome television marketing executive Mark Stroman and Lance Heflin of Heflin Filmworks to our team, and we are excited that the Drama Desk Awards will be seen nationally on Ovation."
Following is list of elected officers and Drama Desk Board of Directors for 2010-2011:
President: Isa Goldberg (syndicated columnist, Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Times, Albany Times Union, Greater Philadelphia Newspapers, Middletown Times Herald Record and Pocono Record; contributing columnist, Financial Times and Jerusalem Post)
Vice President: Leslie (Hoban) Blake (contributing writer, TheaterMania.com; recurring guest critic, Two on the Aisle, MNN)
Treasurer & 2nd Vice President: Charles Wright (A&E Television Networks; essayist and editorial board member, Best Plays Theater Yearbook, published annually by Limelight Editions)
Secretary: Richard Ridge (Broadway Beat TV)
Members at large include Arlene Epstein (theatre critic, arts columnist, South Shore Record/Herald Community Newspapers; LIherald.com); Elysa Gardner (theatre critic, USA Today); Randy Gener (senior editor, American Theatre; founding critic, New York Theatre Wire; editorial board, Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, www.criticalstages.org); John Istel (freelance arts editor and writer; Best Plays, contributing editor); David Kaufman (freelance; author); Sam Norkin (freelance artist; past Drama Desk president); and William Wolf (wolfentertainmentguide.com).
The Drama Desk (www.dramadesk.org) is an organization of professional theatre writers, editors, critics and columnists who cover all areas of professional theatre in the greater New York area, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and not-for-profit theatres. The organization was founded in 1949 to explore key issues of the theatre community.
For more information visit www.dramadeskawards.com.