Winners of the 2022 Drama Desk Awards

Outstanding Play
Cullud Wattah, by Erika Dickerson-Despenza, The Public Theater
English, by Sanaz Toossi, Atlantic Theater Company
Prayer for the French Republic, by Joshua Harmon, Manhattan Theatre Club
Sanctuary City, by Martyna Majok, New York Theatre Workshop
Selling Kabul, by Sylvia Khoury, Playwrights Horizons
The Chinese Lady, by Lloyd Suh, The Public Theater

Outstanding Musical
Harmony, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
Intimate Apparel
, Lincoln Center Theater
Kimberly Akimbo
, Atlantic Theater Company
SIX: The Musical
The Hang, HERE Arts Center

Outstanding Revival of a Play
for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
How I Learned to Drive,
 Manhattan Theatre Club
Lackawanna Blues
, Manhattan Theatre Club
Skeleton Crew
, Manhattan Theatre Club
Trouble in Mind
, Roundabout Theatre Company
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
; Signature Theatre

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Assassins, Classic Stage Company
Baby, Out of the Box Theatrics
Caroline, or Change
; Roundabout Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Brandon J. Dirden, Skeleton Crew
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Take Me Out
Jacob Ming-Trent, Merry Wives
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Lackawanna Blues
John Douglas Thompson, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Tala Ashe, English
Ruth Negga, Macbeth
Andrea Patterson, Cullud Wattah
Phylicia Rashad, Skeleton Crew
Shannon Tyo, The Chinese Lady
Michelle Wilson, Confederates

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Billy Crystal, Mr. Saturday Night
Myles Frost, MJ
Rob McClure, Mrs. Doubtfire
Jaquel Spivey, A Strange Loop
Chip Zien, Harmony

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kearstin Piper Brown, Intimate Apparel
Victoria Clark, Kimberly Akimbo
Sharon D Clarke, Caroline, or Change
Jeanna de Waal; Diana, The Musical
Joaquina Kalukango, Paradise Square

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Joshua Boone, Skeleton Crew
Chuck Cooper, Trouble in Mind
Daniel K. Isaac, The Chinese Lady
Billy Eugene Jones, On Sugarland
Ron Cephas Jones, Clyde’s

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Francis Benhamou, Prayer for the French Republic
Stephanie Berry, On Sugarland
Sonnie Brown, what you are now
Page Leong, Out of Time
Kenita R. Miller, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
Kara Young, Clyde’s

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Justin Austin, Intimate Apparel
Justin Cooley, Kimberly Akimbo
Matt Doyle, Company
Jared Grimes, Funny Girl
Tavon Olds-Sample, MJ

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Judy Kuhn, Assassins
Tamika Lawrence, Black No More
Patti LuPone, Company
Bonnie Milligan, Kimberly Akimbo
Jennifer Simard, Company

Outstanding Director of a Play
Knud Adams, English
Saheem Ali, Merry Wives
Rebecca Frecknall, Sanctuary City
Taibi Magar, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Whitney White, On Sugarland

Outstanding Director of a Musical
John Doyle, Assassins
Marianne Elliott, Company
Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, SIX: The Musical
Bartlett Sher, Intimate Apparel
Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Choreography
Ayodele Casel (tap choreography), Funny Girl
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, SIX: The Musical
Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman, and Jason Oremus (Irish + Hammerstep), Gelan Lambert and Chloe Davis (associates); Paradise Square
Liam Steel, Company
Christopher Wheeldon, Michael Balderrama (associate), Rich + Tone Taleuega (Michael Jackson movement); MJ

Outstanding Music
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, SIX: The Musical
Jason Howland, Paradise Square
Matt Ray, The Hang
Carrie Rodriguez, ¡Americano!
Jeanine Tesori, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Lyrics
Amanda Green, Mr. Saturday Night
Taylor Mac, The Hang
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, SIX: The Musical
David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo
Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel
Shaina Taub, Suffs

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel; Mr. Saturday Night
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, SIX: The Musical
Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel
Bruce Sussman, Harmony

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Curran, SIX: The Musical
Greg Jarrett, Assassins
Mark Hartman and Yasuhiko Fukuoka, The Streets of New York
Jason Michael Webb and David Holcenberg, MJ

Outstanding Music in a Play
Te’La and Kamauu, Thoughts of a Colored Man
Bill Sims Jr., Lackawanna Blues
Michael Thurber and Farai Malianga (drum compositions), Merry Wives

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Merry Wives
Wilson Chin, Pass Over
Marsha Ginsberg, English
Takeshi Kata, Clyde’s
Junghyun Georgia Lee, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical
Emma Bailey, SIX: The Musical
Beowulf Boritt, Flying Over Sunset
Bunny Christie, Company
David Zinn, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Linda Cho, The Chinese Lady
Gregory Gale, Fairycakes
Tilly Grimes, The Alchemist
Qween Jean, On Sugarland
Jennifer Moeller, Clyde’s

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Machine Dazzle, The Hang
Susan Hilferty, Funny Girl
Santo Loquasto, The Music Man
Gabriella Slade, SIX: The Musical
Catherine Zuber, Intimate Apparel

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Christopher Akerlind, Clyde’s
Reza Behjat, English
Isabella Byrd, Sanctuary City
Amith Chandrashaker, Prayer for the French Republic
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Cullud Wattah

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Natasha Katz, Diana
Natasha Katz, MJ
Bradley King, Flying Over Sunset
Jennifer Tipton, Intimate Apparel

Outstanding Projection Design
59 Productions, Flying Over Sunset
David Bengali, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Stephania Bulbarella and Alex Basco Koch, Space Dogs
Shawn Duan, The Chinese Lady
Sven Ortel, Thoughts of a Colored Man

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play
Tyler Kieffer, Seven Deadly Sins
Hidenori Nakajo and Ryan Rumery, Autumn Royal
Ben and Max Ringham, Cyrano de Bergerac
Mikaal Sulaiman, Sanctuary City
Lee Kinney, Selling Kabul

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Company
Paul Gatehouse, SIX: The Musical
Kai Harada, Kimberly Akimbo
Gareth Owen, MJ

Outstanding Wig and Hair
Matthew B. Armentrout, Paradise Square
David Brian Brown, Mrs. Doubtfire
Paul Huntley, Diana
Charles G. LaPointe, MJ

Outstanding Solo Performance
Alex Edelman, Just for Us
Arturo Luís Soria, Ni Mi Madre
Kristina Wong, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord

Unique Theatrical Experience
Seven Deadly Sins, Tectonic Theater Project & Madison Wells Live

Outstanding Adaptation
Merry Wives
, by Jocelyn Bioh
The Alchemist
, by Jeffrey Hatcher

Outstanding Puppet Design
Amanda Villalobos, Wolf Play
James Ortiz, The Skin of Our Teeth
Rockefeller Productions, Winnie the Pooh

Harold S. Prince Lifetime Achievement Award
In four decades as playwright, novelist, actor, and director, Alice Childress (1912-1994) challenged racism with engrossing stories and memorable characters. When a New York producer demanded revisions to soften the impact of Trouble in Mind after an initial run Off Broadway and prior to its Broadway debut, Childress withdrew the script. Sixty-five years later, the Drama Desk celebrates the long-delayed Broadway premiere of this timeless masterpiece and salutes Childress as a towering figure in contemporary theatre history.

Ensemble Award
In SIX: The Musical, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele bring to musical life the women who married England’s King Henry VIII. The fanciful result is a buoyant dramatization of their individually purposeful and collectively empowering journeys.

The Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award
This season, as a woman hiding her brother from the Taliban in Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul and an English instructor straddling two very different cultures in Sanaz Toossi’s English, Marjan Neshat embodied disparate characters so fully that it was hard to recognize the single actor in the two roles. Whether in drama or comedy, Neshat mines the playwright’s text for a vast panoply of emotions that yield vivid, intricate portrayals of the parts she undertakes.

Additional Special Awards
Dede Ayite seems to have costumed half the actors of this theatre season with her designs for Merry WivesSeven Deadly SinsThe Last of the Love LettersChicken and BiscuitsSlave PlayNollywood DreamsAmerican Buffalo, and How I Learned to Drive. Whether dressing working-class Marylanders of the 1960s, amateur criminals of the 1970s, or West African immigrants in today’s Harlem, Ayite has a knack for conveying characters’ means, values, and aspirations before the actors utter a word.

Adam Rigg enhanced storytelling through wildly varying scenic designs this season including: a house in wood, shadow, and reflective glass that draws the audience into the Flint, Michigan water crisis in Cullud Wattah; a community cul-de-sac where trauma and history are celebrated in On Sugarland; and the falling walls, flower-covered hillsides, and functional seaside fun ride of The Skin of Our Teeth.

With the category-defying Oratorio for Living Things, Heather Christian aims to encompass all human existence in a single inventive and startlingly beautiful work. In times of pandemic, war, and social upheaval, Christian’s work (directed by Lee Sunday Evans and brought to life by a superb cast and creative team) is an awe-inspiring reminder that, even in the darkest times, there will always be artistic peaks to scale.

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