Jonathan Groff, Jessica Lange, Kandi Burruss & Schele Williams to be Honored at 2024 Drama League Awards

These awards will be presented at the annual luncheon ceremony at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on Friday, May 17, 2024 at 12:00PM.

By: Feb. 21, 2024
Jonathan Groff, Jessica Lange, Kandi Burruss & Schele Williams to be Honored at 2024 Drama League Awards
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The Drama League has revealed the 2024 Special Recognition Honorees of The 90th Annual Drama League Awards, recognized for their unique and outstanding contributions to the theater industry.
Two-time Tony Award and Emmy Award nominee Jonathan Groff, currently starring in the acclaimed revival of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award for his outstanding work on stage as part of the musical theater community.
Director Schele Williams will be honored with the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing, for her incredible contributions to the field, which includes two of this Broadway season’s highly anticipated productions, The Wiz and The Notebook.
The annual Gratitude Award will be presented to producer and performer Kandi Burruss, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to the theater industry.
Two-time Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange – who won a Tony Award for her performance in A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and returns to Broadway this spring in Mother Play – will be honored with the Contribution to the Theater Award, for her unwavering commitment to furthering the art of the American theater.
These awards will be presented at the annual luncheon ceremony at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on Friday, May 17, 2024 at 12:00PM. The event will be hosted by Emmy Award winner Frank DiLella (NY1 “On Stage”; PBS Great Performances “Reopening: The Broadway Revival”). 
Nominations for the 2023-24 Broadway and Off-Broadway season will be announced on Monday, April 22, 2024 at 10:00am, at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Keeping in the tradition of honoring the outstanding accomplishments of the theatrical community, as they have since 1935, Drama League Awards will be bestowed in the following categories:

Distinguished Performance Award
Outstanding Production of a Play
Outstanding Production of a Musical
Outstanding Revival of a Play
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Direction of a Play
Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Founders Award for Excellence in Directing
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater
Contribution to the Theater Award
The Gratitude Award
Broadway and Off-Broadway productions will need to have started previews between April 24, 2023 – April 20, 2024 to be eligible for this season’s Drama League Awards.

About Jonathan Groff

Emmy and two-time Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff stars as Franklin Shepard in the Broadway production of Sondheim and Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along. In 2019, Groff starred as Seymour Krelborn in the award-winning Off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors, for which he was an Outer Critics Circle Award honoree, and Lucille Lortel and Drama League "Distinguished Performance Award" nominee. In 2015, Groff originated the role of King George III in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer Prize–winning Hamilton on Broadway, for which he received a Tony nomination, as well as an Emmy nomination for the Disney+ film adaptation. In 2006, Groff gave an award-winning breakout performance in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening (Theatre World Award winner; Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award nominee). Additional theatre credits include The Bobby Darin Story, “Encores! Off-Center: A New Brain,” The Bacchae, Hair, The Submission, The Singing Forest, Prayer for my Enemy (for which he won an Obie Award), Deathtrap and Red. On screen, Groff is the voice of Kristoff and Sven in the Disney animated films Frozen and Frozen II. He is also known for his starring role as Holden Ford in David Fincher’s Netflix television series “Mindhunter.” He starred in the HBO series “Looking” and reprised his role as Patrick in Looking: The Movie. He appeared as Jesse St. James on Ryan Murphy’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning show “Glee.” He co-starred in Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections, M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, and voiced the titular role in the animated series “Lost Ollie” on Netflix.

About Schele Williams

Schele Williams is a director, performer, and author committed to cultivating work with authentic representation on stage and off. She is currently making her Broadway directorial debut this season with The Notebook (co- director along with Michael Greif) and the highly anticipated Broadway revival of The Wiz opening April 2024. Other Broadway: Rent (assoc. choreographer) Motown the Musical (assoc. director) Aida (OBC). Upcoming: Director of Disney’s revival of Aida and Hidden Figures (Disney). Schele is a founding member of Black Theatre United, a co-chair on the Broadway Inspirational Voices board of directors, and serves on the board of trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. She is the author of the children’s book Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History (recipient of the 2022 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor) and her next book, Your Legacy Begins, will be published in May of 2024.

About Kandi Burruss

Kandi Burruss is an entrepreneur, singer, actress, TV sensation, and Grammy-winning songwriter. Alongside her husband Todd Tucker, they are a Tony-nominated producing team behind the hit revival of The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Danielle Brooks. The Piano Lesson was officially named the highest-grossing August Wilson play in Broadway history, and made black history by donating the piano to the Smithsonian. Kandi and Todd previously produced the critically-acclaimed Broadway show Thoughts of a Colored Man, and are producing this season’s Broadway revival of The Wiz. In 2018 Kandi starred on Broadway as “Mama” Morton in Chicago. Kandi has starred in 15 seasons of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” on Bravo, for which she is currently nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Best Reality Star. Kandi stars on the Showtime series “The Chi,” from Emmy winner Lena Waithe, made television history as the first female winner of “The Masked Singer” on Fox, and also appeared in HBO’s groundbreaking series, “Insecure.” Kandi is a Grammy Award winner and recipient of the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year award and has written hit songs for Pink, Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, NSync, Mariah Carey, Usher, Alicia Keys, Boyz II Men, and she wrote the smash hit “No Scrubs,” for TLC. Kandi is a founding member of the chart-topping girl group Xscape. Kandi is a thriving entrepreneur with a variety of successful businesses including: Bedroom Kandi, Kandi Koated Beauty, and TAGS Boutique; and with her husband, has built a growing restaurant empire in Atlanta, which includes their southern style eateries Old Lady Gang and Blaze Steak & Seafood. Kandi's passion for championing women underlies her foundation, Kandi Cares, which supports single parents and kids who are the product of single-parent homes. Her latest venture, Beautiful Bosses, is a web platform where women can network and promote their businesses. Kandi was named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list and to Variety’s 40 Most Powerful Women on Reality TV in 2023. Kandi has 10.5 million Instagram followers.

About Jessica Lange

Acclaimed as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, Jessica Lange has dazzled the screen with over 30 credits to her name. Lange has won a Tony Award, two Academy Awards, three Emmys, five Golden Globes, and one SAG Award. On Broadway, she received the Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performance as Mary Tyrone in A Long Day’s Journey into Night, a role she also performed in the West End. She made her Broadway debut in A Streetcar Named Desire and was also seen starring in The Glass Menagerie. Lange starred in the television series “Grey Gardens,” “Feud: Bette and Joan,” and “American Horror Story.” Her films include Blue Sky, Frances, Tootsie, Country, Sweet Dreams, Music Box, and Cape Fear.