The 65th annual Drama Desk Awards take place June 13. The proceedings had twice been shifted: first due to the coronavirus pandemic, which moved the event from New York City's Town Hall May 31 to online. The ceremony was then put on hold that day in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Because of the March shutdown of New York productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and beyond, the eligibility window for the season was revised to end March 11.
Soft Power, the collaboration between playwright David Henry Hwang and composer Jeanine Tesori, topped the list with 11 nominations for its New York premiere at the Public Theater last year. In addition to Outstanding Musical, the show's nominations included nods to both Hwang and Tesori, director Leigh Silverman, and stars Francis Jue (also nominated for Cambodian Rock Band), Conrad Ricamora, and Alyse Alan Louis.
Additional front-runners include two other new musicals that played Off-Broadway: The Wrong Man (receiving nine nominations) and Octet (receiving eight). With plays, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven led the pack, also earning eight nods. Check out the full list of nominations here.
Special Awards will be given to The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky, and James Wesley for their coronavirus relief efforts (particularly their Stars in the House series); The Public Theater's Mobile Unit; WP Theater and the late Julia Miles; and intimacy director Claire Warden. Additionally, the ceremony will posthumously honor Harold Prince as the inaugural recipient of a namesake lifetime achievement distinction.
The evening will feature appearances by Tituss Burgess, James Corden, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Beanie Feldstein, Santino Fontana, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Ashley Park, Andrew Rannells, Ali Stroker, and Susan Stroman.
Founded in 1955, the Drama Desk Awards honor outstanding achievement by professional theatre artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. The Drama Desk Awards are voted on and bestowed by theatre critics, journalists, editors, publishers, and broadcasters covering theatre.