Denee Benton and Andre De Shields to announce 2022 Drama League award nominations

The Drama League will welcome Tony Award winner and Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nominee André De Shields (Hadestown) and Tony Award and Drama nominee Denée Benton (The Great Comet of 1812, “The Gilded Age”) League Distinguished Performance Award. 2022 Drama League Awards Nomination Event on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY). The nomination announcement event will also be broadcast live by BroadwayWorld, starting at 11:00 a.m. ET.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the resilience and talent of our theater community,” said Bonnie Comley, Drama League Board Chair and Founder of BroadwayHD, “because this year is so much more, it’s will be a homecoming!” The 88th Annual Drama League Awards will be presented in person atThe Ziegfeld Ballroom (141 W 54th St, New York, NY) on Friday, May 20, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. More information about the ceremony and how to attend can be found at The 2022 awards will recognize eligible Broadway and Off-Broadway productions (non-virtual only) that began their preview performances between March 16, 2021 and April 23, 2022. Continuing the tradition of honoring outstanding community achievement since 1935, the Drama League Awards will be presented in the following categories, in addition to the new competitive achievement categories:

  • Outstanding Production of a Play

  • Outstanding Production of a Musical

  • Exceptional revival of a piece

  • Outstanding Revival of a Musical

  • *new* Outstanding One Piece Direction

As previously announced, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Billy Crystal, Hugh Jackman and Willette Murphy Klausner are this year’s special recognition recipients. Hugh Jackman will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award for outstanding work on stage and film within the musical theater community; Billy Crystal will receive the Contribution to Theater Award for his extraordinary work on stages across the country and his commitment to mentorship in the field; Lileana Blain-Cruz will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing for her incredible contributions to the field of directing; and producer Willette Murphy Klausner will receive the Gratitude Award in recognition of her leadership, commitment and dedication to theater and the entertainment industry.

First introduced in 1922 and formalized in 1935, the Drama League Awards are an essential service to the theatrical community of the Drama League, an arts organization that has provided vital support to the field and its artists for more than a century. The organization’s mission provides the nation’s only full-time, lifetime creative home for directors and audiences who enjoy their work around the world. For a complete list of productions and performers who have won Drama League Awards in the event’s history, as well as all past winners, The Drama League is grateful for the support of its generous donors, including Gold Sponsors of the 2022 Drama League Awards: BroadwayHD, John Gore Organization, Nederlander Organization, Joseph & Lauren Pizza/Sceneworks Studios and Iris Smith; and Silver Sponsors: Kirk Iwanowski & Steven Cohen and Mary Dunn, Mary Jain, Christine Rendano and The Shubert Organization. More information about sponsoring the event can be found at