The third annual Samuel French Awards will honor Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman's musical adaptation of The Secret Garden, due to return to Broadway in the 2018–2019 season. Also presented with special awards will be Tony-winning playwright and librettist Doug Wright and Pass Over playwright Antoinette Nwandu.
The private ceremony will take place October 29 and feature performances by Tony winner Christine Ebersole (most recently on Broadway in War Paint, featuring a book by Wright), and two performers from the recent developmental lab presentation of The Secret Garden: Sierra Boggess and Amber Iman. The three will be accompanied by Rob Berman.
The Secret Garden will be presented with the Award for Sustained Excellence in American Theatre, given to a Samuel French title or author produced across the country with both professional and amateur companies. A special acknowledgment will go to original producer and set designer Heidi Ettinger.
Moisés Kaufman will be on hand to present Wright the Award for Impact and Activism in the Theatre Community for his work as President of the Dramatists Guild, and Colt Coeur founder Adrienne Campbell-Hold will present Nwandu with the Next Step Award.
Recipients of the Sustained Excellence and Impact and Activism Awards can select a theatre or program to which Samuel French will make a donation in their name; The Secret Garden has chosen director Jenn Thompson and Goodspeed Musicals, while Wright has selected the Dramatists Guild Legal Defense Fund.