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Jesse Tyler Ferguson Hosts 80th Annual Drama League Awards Today

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Jesse Tyler Ferguson Hosts 80th Annual Drama League Awards Today

The Drama League has announced that the Emmy-nominated star of Modern Family and Broadway veteran Jesse Tyler Ferguson will host the upcoming 80th Annual Drama League Awards. Considered one of the high points of the theater season, the Annual Awards Luncheon includes a nominees cocktail reception, luncheon ceremony, and awards presentation and that will be held today, May 16, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway) beginning at 11:30 a.m. Financier Patisserie, GenSpring Family Offices, and National Life Group are the 2014 Event Sponsors of the 80th Annual Drama League Awards.

The Drama League previously announced the 2014 Special Award Recipients, which will also be bestowed at the Awards Luncheon: Kennedy Center Honoree, Tony, and Grammy Award nominee, Barbara Cook will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in recognition of her contribution to the musical theatre; Key Brand Entertainment/Broadway Across America will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award for their vital work of bringing New York productions to theaters across America; and Tony, Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winner John Tiffany will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. These Special Recognition Honors are in addition to the five competitive categories.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson currently stars on the Emmy Award-winning ABC-TV comedy series, "Modern Family," now in its fifth season. The series has earned four Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Comedy Series," a Golden Globe Award for "Outstanding Comedy Series," and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series." Ferguson has also received four Emmy Award nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series," and a People's Choice Award for "Favorite Comedic TV Actor." Additional television credits include "The Class," "Do Not Disturb" and "Ugly Betty". Film credits include Untraceable and Wonderful World.

The theatre has always been Ferguson's first love; most recently, he appeared in the 2013 Shakespeare in the Park Summer production of The Comedy of Errors. He made his Broadway debut as "Chip" in George C. Wolfe's revival of On The Town, and originated the role of "Leaf " in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ("Outstanding Ensemble Performance" winner, Drama Desk Award; "Distinguished Performance" nominee, Drama League Award). He has worked extensively with The New York Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park in such notable productions as The Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale and A Midsummer Night's Dream ("Distinguished Performance" nominee, Drama League Award). Other theatre credits include Christopher Shinn's, Where Do We Live, Michael John LaChiusa's, Little Fish, and, recently, starred as "Leo Bloom" in The Producers at The Hollywood Bowl.

A longstanding advocate for marriage equality, Ferguson co-founded Tie The Knot in 2012 with his husband, where they design limited edition bow ties with all the proceeds going to various organizations that fight for civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. Their first collection debuted in November 2012 and sold out in less than a month. They have released four collections since and have featured ties designed by guest designers that include Isaac Mizrahi, George Takei and Tim Gunn. Their next collection will be released this Spring on thetiebar.com. For more information about Tie The Knot, please visit www.tietheknot.org.

For more information about the Drama League Awards, call (212) 244-9494 ext 104, or e-mail events@dramaleague.org, or visit the website at www.dramaleague.org.

First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members - specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

The Drama League Awards honor distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements in musical theatre and directing. The first Drama League Award was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935. Since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theatre legends such as Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Sir John Gielgud, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Julie Harris, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, and Christopher Plummer.

Photo Credit: Robert Mannis

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