Home / Artists / Jessica Lange, Danai Gurira, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and More; Meeting the 2016 Drama Desk Award Winners [VIDEO]

Jessica Lange, Danai Gurira, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and More; Meeting the 2016 Drama Desk Award Winners [VIDEO]

Photo Credit: Sara Block

Photo Credit: Sara Block

Last night, the 61st Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced at New York’s Town Hall, resulting in a star-studded line-up of winners from the best of Broadway and NYC’s theater scene at large. The night was hosted by actor Michael Urie, and streamed live online by TheaterMania.

Some of the night’s big winners include Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Outstanding Solo Performance, Fully Committed), Jessica Lange (Outstanding Actress in a Play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Cynthia Erivo (Outstanding Actress in a Musical, The Color Purple), Danai Gurira (Sam Norkin Award, Eclipsed and Familiar), Savion Glover (Outstanding Choreography, Shuffle Along), Jane Krakowski (Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, She Loves Me), and more.

Steve Schonberg from Center On The Aisle was there, along with photographer and video producer Stephen Sorokoff, to speak with the night’s award winners.

Check out the videos, below!

Video Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

(Jessica Lange, A Long Day’s Journey Into Night; Montego Glover and Khris Davis, The Royale; Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress)

(Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fully Committed; Danai Gurira, Eclipsed and Familiar)

(Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple; Ivo van Hove, A View From the Bridge)

(Savion Glover, Shuffle AlongSeycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed; Mia Neal, Shuffle Along)


Full List of Winners (denoted with an asterisk, in bold):

Outstanding Play

The Christians, Playwrights Horizons

*The Humans, Roundabout Theatre Company

John, Signature Theatre

King Charles III

The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater


Outstanding Musical

Daddy Long Legs

First Daughter Suite, Public Theater

School of Rock

*Shuffle Along



Outstanding Revival of a Play

Cloud Nine, Atlantic Theater Company

Death of a Salesman, New Yiddish Rep

Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse at St. Ann’s Warehouse

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Roundabout Theatre Company

*A View from the Bridge

Women Without Men, Mint Theater Company


Outstanding Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple

Fiddler on the Roof

The Golden Bride, National Yiddish Theatre Folkesbiene

*She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company

Spring Awakening
Outstanding Actor in a Play

Andrew Garman, The Christians, Playwrights Horizons

Avi Hoffman, Death of a Salesman

*Frank Langella, The Father, Manhattan Theatre Club

Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III

Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge


Outstanding Actress in a Play

Georgia Engel, John, Signature Theatre

Mamie Gummer, Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Undeground

Marin Ireland, Ironbound, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Women’s Project Theater

*Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Nicola Walker, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

*Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof

Robert Creighton, Cagney, York Theatre Company

Michael C. Hall, Lazarus, New York Theatre Workshop

Zachary Levi, She Loves Me

Benjamin Walker, American Psycho


Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Laura Benanti, She Loves Me

Carmen Cusack, Bright Star

*Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple

Jessie Mueller, Waitress

Annette O’Toole, Southern Comfort, Public Theater


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Bill Camp, The Crucible

David Furr, Noises Off, Roundabout Theatre Company

Matt McGrath, The Legend of Georgia McBride, MCC Theater

*Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Richard Thomas, Incident at Vichy, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Brooke Bloom, Cloud Nine

Megan Hilty, Noises Off

Kellie Overbey, Women Without Men

*Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed, Public Theater

Jeanine Serralles, Gloria, Vineyard Theatre
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Nicholas Barasch, She Loves Me

*Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress

Baylee Littrell, Disaster!

Paul Alexander Nolan, Bright Star

A.J. Shively, Bright Star


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple

Alison Fraser, First Daughter Suite

Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen, Second Stage

*Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me

Mary Testa, First Daughter Suite
Outstanding Director of a Play

Rachel Chavkin, The Royale

Sam Gold, John

Rupert Goold, King Charles III

Joe Mantello, The Humans

Jenn Thompson, Women Without Men

*Ivo van Hove, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Director of a Musical

Michael Arden, Spring Awakening

*John Doyle, The Color Purple

Rupert Goold, American Psycho

*Bartlett Sher, Fiddler on the Roof

Bryna Wasserman and Motl Didner, The Golden Bride


Outstanding Choreography

Joshua Bergasse, Cagney

*Savion Glover, Shuffle Along

Spencer Liff, Spring Awakening

Lynne Page, American Psycho

Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea


Outstanding Music

Sara Bareilles, Waitress

Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock

The Lobbyists, SeaWife, Naked Angels

*Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star


Outstanding Lyrics

Sara Bareilles, Waitress

Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

*Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen

Glenn Slater, School of Rock


Outstanding Book of a Musical

*John Caird, Daddy Long Legs

Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Jessie Nelson, Waitress


Outstanding Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen, Bright Star

*Larry Hochman, She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company

Joseph Joubert and Catherine Jayes, The Color Purple

Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock

Michael Starobin and Bruce Coughlin, First Daughter Suite


Outstanding Music in a Play

Billie Joe Armstrong, These Paper Bullets!, Atlantic Theatre Company

Estelle Bajou, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, One Year Lease Theater Company

Shaun Davey, Pericles, Theatre for a New Audience

*Philip Glass, The Crucible

Tom Kitt, Cymbeline, Public Theater 


Outstanding Set Design for a Play

Riccardo Hernandez, Red Speedo, New York Theatre Workshop

Mimi Lien, John

Derek McLane, Fully Committed
W. Mercier, Head of Passes, Public Theater

*Christopher Oram, Hughie


Outstanding Set Design for a Musical

Es Devlin, American Psycho

Emily Orling, Matt Saunders, Eric Farber, Futurity, Soho Rep/Ars Nova

*David Rockwell, She Loves Me
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play

Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!

Martha Hally, Women Without Men

Constance Hoffman, Pericles

William Ivey Long, Shows for Days, Lincoln Center Theater

*Anita Yavich, The Legend of Georgia McBride


Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical

Jane Greenwood, Bright Star

Katrina Lindsay, American Psycho

Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me

*Ann Roth, Shuffle Along

Alejo Vietti, Allegiance


Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play

Neil Austin, Hughie

Mark Barton, John

Bradley King, Empanada Loca, Labyrinth Theater Company

Tyler Micoleau, Antlia Pneumatica, Playwrights Horizons

*Justin Townsend, The Humans


Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical

Jane Cox, The Color Purple

Jake DeGroot, SeaWife

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along

Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening

*Justin Townsend, American Psycho
Outstanding Projection Design

Nicholas Hussong, These Paper Bullets!

Darrel Maloney, Tappin’ Thru Life

Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen

*Finn Ross, American Psycho

Tal Yarden, Lazarus


Outstanding Sound Design for a Play

Mikhail Fiksel and Miles Polaski, Fulfillment, The Flea Theater

Fitz Patton, An Act of God

*Fitz Patton, The Humans

Bray Poor, John

Ryan Rumery, Empanada Loca 


Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical

Scott Lehrer, Shuffle Along

Mick Potter, School of Rock

Brian Ronan, Lazarus

*Dan Moses Schreier, American Psycho

Nevin Steinberg, Bright Star 


Outstanding Wig and Hair Design

David Brian Brown, She Loves Me

Jason Hayes, The Legend of Georgia McBride

Charles G. LaPointe, The School for Scandal, Red Bull Theater

*Mia M. Neal, Shuffle Along

Robert-Charles Vallance, Women Without Men


Outstanding Solo Performance

Simon Callow, Tuesdays at Tesco’s, 59E59

Kathleen Chalfant, Rose, Nora’s Playhouse

*Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fully Committed

James Lecesne, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

Daphne Rubin-Vega, Empanada Loca
Unique Theatrical Experience

ADA/AVA, Manual Cinema/3LD/The Tank

Antigona – Soledad Barrio/Noche Flamenca

*That Physics Show

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

YOUARENOWHERE – 3LD/The Tank/Andrew J. Schneider Performance/Lingua Franca Arts


Special Awards

The Humans – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble

Cassie Beck, Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed, and Sarah Steele spend a very special Thanksgiving Day together in Stephen Karam’s play, reminding us that home is indeed where The Humans are.

The Royale – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble

The heavyweight cast of McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Montego Glover, John Lavelle, and Clarke Peters gels as a unit in bringing Marco Ramirez’s story, inspired by Jack Johnson, to unforgettable life, offering a trenchant statement on racism in America.

Sheldon Harnick – Special Drama Desk Award

New productions of Fiddler on the RoofRothschild and Sons, and She Loves Me this season remind us that this veteran lyricist’s takes on faith, family and community are as resonant as ever.

Camp Broadway – Special Drama Desk Award

For more than 20 years, this indispensable organization has introduced young people to the magic of theater. Camp Broadway plays a crucial role in creating tomorrow’s audiences.

Danai Gurira – Sam Norkin Award

Whether writing about women in wartime Liberia in Eclipsed or about an affluent immigrant family from Zimbabwe struggling with assimilation in Familiar, Danai Gurira demonstrates great insight, range, and depth, bringing a fresh new voice to American theater.


About #COTA

Center On The Aisle -- or #COTA) for short -- was founded by theater expert, Steve Schonberg in 2014, and the site now boasts a team of 15 expert writers and reviewers. Steve created the site to help casual theatergoers easily access informative and entertaining content to help them engage more with the theater, and make confident and informed decisions when selecting shows. With this mission, the #COTA team applies their deep theater knowledge and attendance at hundreds of shows a year to create the site's content. That's quite a task! Covering Broadway, off-Broadway, cabaret, dance, music and more, the #COTA team provides a range of valuable perspectives to inform and engage readers. After all, the theater is part of our history, heritage and cultural identity - it should be engaged in as often as possible. Welcome, again, to #COTA and please come again.

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