The Theatre World Awards honor six actresses and six actors in recognition of an outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway debut during the season. Established in 1945, the Theatre World Awards, founded by John Willis, the Editor-in-Chief of both Theatre World and its companion volume Screen World, are the oldest awards given for Outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway Debut Performance.
Because it is given for a debut performance, it is only given once. The ceremony is a private, invitation-only event followed by a party to celebrate the new honorees and welcome them to the Theatre World family. In what has become a highly entertaining and often touching tradition, 12 previous winners serve as the presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share wonderful stories rarely heard at other theatrical awards. This year’s winners are:
David Diggs, Hamilton
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Collin Kelly-Sordelet, The Last Ship
Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play
The 7th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence, honoring an Outstanding Performance in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production, will be presented by Dame Diana Rigg to Leanne Cope for her performance as Lise in An American in Paris. The 2015 John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to Chita Rivera.
The original production of On the Town opened at Broadway’s Adelphi Theater in 1944 starring Betty Comden, who co-wrote the show with Adolph Green and was one of the first winners of the inaugural Theatre World Awards for her Broadway debut as “Claire.” This year’s ceremony brings the awards to the Lyric Theatre, home to the newly Tony Award nominated revival of On the Town, reconnecting the Theatre World Awards legacy back to its very first ceremony.
The Theatre World Award winners are chosen by the Theatre World Awardscommittee which is comprised of Roma Torre (NY1), David Cote (Time Out New York and NY1), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News), Peter Filichia (The Newark Star-Ledger, Emeritus) Harry Haun (Playbill), Matthew Murray (Talkin’ Broadway), and Frank Scheck (New York Post). The ceremony will be held on June 1st.