Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2013 Drama Desk Awards (Including Our Very Own Nominees)

How exciting was it when Illinois Wesleyan alum Deanna Jent and Illinois State University's Lori Adams and John Stark took Jent's play Falling to New York after a smash engagement in St. Louis? Adams, who is head of acting in ISU's School of Theatre and Dance, directed Jent's play, with scenic design by Stark, who is head of design and production at ISU. The little play that could and its Minetta Lane production scored Drama Desk nominations for Jent for Outstanding Play as well as actors Daniel Everidge and Julia Murney. And that's about as major as it gets.

Broadway World photo of Jent and Adams on opening night
Photo credit: Walter McBride

Fellow nominees included the likes of Annie Baker, David Byrne, Christopher Durang, Tom Hanks, Nathan Lane, Tracy Letts, Bette Midler, Vanessa Redgrave, Tony Shalhoub and Cicely Tyson.

The Drama Desk Awards are the only major New York awards to nominate and honor Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows in the same categories of competition. And that allows all the New York theatrical folk who cross those boundaries to be together for one night of big fun and excitement.

Sunday night, the Drama Desk Awards were handed out at Town Hall in Midtown Manhattan, with Christopher Durang's mixed-up Chekhovian comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike taking honors in the Outstanding Play category and Matilda, a musical version of the Roald Dahl novel with book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, named Outstanding Musical. The Broadway transfer of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf took the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, while Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson's Pippin won in the Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue category.

Acting honors were spread around, with winners including Virginia Woolf's Tracy Letts, Cicely Tyson for her performance in The Trip to Bountiful, Billy Porter in Kinky Boots and Laura Osnes in Cinderella. In the "featured" categories, Richard Kind (The Big Knife), Judith Light (The Assembled Parties), Bertie Carvel (Matilda) and Andrea Martin (Pippin) took home the trophies.

The Outstanding Director awards both went to women directors, with Pippin's Diane Paulus and Virgina Woolf's Pam MacKinnon honored.

To see the complete list of nominees and winners, click here.

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