The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels In America, director Ellie Heyman’s star-packed, virtual reimagining of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic, has been named the year’s Outstanding Digital Theater production by the Drama League.
The award — one of five categories created by the Drama League specifically for this year’s pandemic-altered theater season — was announced Friday night at the 87th annual Drama League Awards, streamed worldwide through the interactive Awards Room platform.
For the first time since the league began presenting awards in 1922, theater companies and productions beyond New York’s Broadway and Off Broadway were able to compete, reflecting the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic shutdown season. Theater artists from across the nation who created digital and socially distanced theatrical productions were eligible in the five newly created categories.
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In all, the 33 nominated productions, which premiered between March 12, 2020 and March 15, 2021, were selected from submissions by more than 400 directors and theater professionals who are the alumni of The Drama League’s support programs for directors.
In addition to The Great Work Begins (a benefit for, and presented by, amfAR), the winners are:
OUTSTANDING DIGITAL THEATER, COLLECTION OR FESTIVAL
Theater in Quarantine
Created by founder Joshua William Gelb (New York, NY) and Katie Rose McLaughlin (New York, NY)
OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE OR SOCIALLY-DISTANCED THEATER
7 Deadly Sins
Written by Hilary Bettis, Nilo Cruz, Moisés Kaufman, Rogelio Martinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Carmen Pelaez, and Aurin Squire
Conceived and directed by Michel Hausmann
Greed directed by Moisés Kaufman
Wrath directed by Jade King Carroll
Miami New Drama (Miami Beach, FL)
OUTSTANDING AUDIO THEATER PRODUCTION
Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club
Written by Shakina Nayfack
Directed by Laura Savia
Williamstown Theatre Festival (Williamstown, MA) and Audible
OUTSTANDING DIGITAL CONCERT
Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Produced by Stephen Sondheim, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Bill Curran, Raúl Esparza, John Gore, and Paul Wontorek
Directed by Paul Wontorek
Benefit for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty)
Presented by Broadway.com
The previously announced 2021 Special Recognition Honorees were Iris Smith, the inaugural Gratitude Award; Liesl Tommy, the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; father-daughter duo Richard & Demi Weitz, the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award for their creation of the “Quarantunes” series; and The Actors Fund, recipient of the Unique Contribution to Theater Award for its emergency relief efforts through Covid-19, the winter storms and Oregon wildfires.
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