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Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Liesl Tommy and More To Appear at 87th Annual Drama League Awards

“While the American theater’s stages may have shut down for the last year, America’s theater artists did not,” remarked Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks.

Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Liesl Tommy and More To Appear at 87th Annual Drama League Awards

The Drama League has announced that Gloria, Emilio & Emily Estefan, along with the evenings honorees Iris Smith, Liesl Tommy, Richard & Demi Weitz, and more, will appear at The 87th Annual Drama League Awards streaming this Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7:00PM ET. Guests should RSVP before May 19 to access the event, which will stream through the interactive Awards Room platform.

"While the American theater's stages may have shut down for the last year, America's theater artists did not," remarked Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. "On the contrary, thousands of theater pieces emerged during this time -- online and in immersive or socially-distanced environments. Brimming with experimentation in form and content, we knew The Drama League should lift and celebrate these accomplishments."

Keeping in the tradition of honoring the outstanding accomplishments of the theatrical community, as they have since 1935, this year the organization established five unique categories to honor the extraordinary achievements of artists across the nation who created digital and socially-distanced theatrical productions during this challenging year of suspension for live arts. The 33 nominated productions were selected from submissions by 400+ directors and theatre professionals who are the alumni of The Drama League's support programs for directors. There are five categories of distinction: Outstanding Digital Theater, Individual Production; Outstanding Digital Theater, Collection or Festival; Outstanding Interactive or Socially-Distanced Theater; Outstanding Audio Theater Production; and Outstanding Digital Concert. Eligible productions premiered between March 12, 2020 - March 15, 2021.

The Drama League Awards' 2021 Special Recognition Honorees are: Iris Smith, who will receive the inaugural Gratitude Award for her fearless support of the The Drama League and the theater community at large; Liesl Tommy, who will be presented with the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing for her extraordinary work on stages across the country and commitment to mentorship in the field; father-daughter duo Richard & Demi Weitz, who will be honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award for their creation of the "Quarantunes" series, which provides a virtual platform for musical theater artists and generated over $20 million in funds for nonprofits across the country; and The Actors Fund, recipient of the Unique Contribution to Theater Award for its emergency relief efforts through COVID-19, the Winter Storms, and Oregon Wildfires this past season and its ongoing commitment to providing resources for artists.

Tickets for non-members start at $15 with additional VIP upgrades, Virtual Tables, Tribute Ads, and sponsorship packages available for corporations, producers, and patrons. All are welcome to attend with a Pass-it-Forward ticket available for those unable to donate.

Drama League Membership is an audience support program for the American theatre; members receive access to special members-only events, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and West End tickets, discounts at local businesses, industry insider updates, and more. Membership is tax-deductible, with annual and monthly membership options available. To become a voting member, visit or call (212) 244-9494, Ext. 101.

Since 1922, The Drama League Awards have been presented by The Drama League, an arts service organization that, for over a century, has provided vital support to the field and its artists. The organization's mission provides the nation's only full-time, lifelong creative home for stage directors and the audiences that enjoy their work across the world. The five traditional competitive categories are Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the highly coveted Distinguished Performance Award. Additionally, each year theater luminaries are selected to receive Special Honors: The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing, the award for Unique Contribution to the Theater, the award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater, and the new Gratitude Award. For a complete list of productions and performers that have won Drama League Awards in the event's history, as well as all past honorees, click here.


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