This evening, beginning at 7 pm, the 38th annual Lucille Lortel Awards were presented in fifteen categories to celebrate outstanding achievements in Off-Broadway theater. The 2023 awards presentation ceremony, hosted by Kevin Cahoon, D’Arcy Carden, Crystal Lucas-Perry, Bonnie Milligan, Arian Moayed, and Tamara Tunie, and produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, with additional support from the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), was held at the NYU Skirball Center as a benefit for the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly known as the Actors Fund).
Leading the awards this year with five (for Outstanding Play, Director, Ensemble, Scenic Design, and Sound Design) was Wolf Play, a Soho Rep production, produced by MCC Theater, in collaboration with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Following with three awards (for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical, and Outstanding Costume Design) was Titaníque, produced by Eva Price, James L. Nederlander, Diamond Dog Entertainment LLC, Benj Pasek, Blumenthal Performing Arts, Penny Rousouli, Jodi & Howard Tenenbaum, Philip Byron, Marcia Ellis, Iris Smith, and Stellar Live, Inc.
The Awards Voting Committee was comprised of representatives from Actors’ Equity Association, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, the Off-Broadway League, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Artists, in addition to theater journalists, academics, and other Off-Broadway professionals.
And the winners are:
Outstanding Play: Wolf Play, written by Hansol Jung;
Outstanding Musical: Titaníque; book by Marla Mindelle, Constantine Rousouli, and Tye Blue, music by various artists;
Outstanding Revival: A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, produced by The Public Theater;
Outstanding Director: Dustin Wills, Wolf Play;
Outstanding Choreographer: Andy Blankenbuehler, Only Gold;
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play: K. Todd Freeman, Downstate;
Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play: Mia Barron, The Coast Starlight;
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical: Marla Mindelle, Titaníque;
Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical: A.J. Shively, A Man of No Importance;
Outstanding Ensemble: Wolf Play (Christopher Bannow, Esco Jouléy, Brian Quijada, Nicole Villamil, and Mitchell Winter);
Outstanding Scenic Design: You-Shin Chen, Wolf Play;
Outstanding Costume Design: Alejo Vietti, Titaníque;
Outstanding Lighting Design: Isabella Byrd, Epiphany;
Outstanding Sound Design: Kate Marvin, Wolf Play;
Outstanding Projection Design: Kameron Neal, Dark Disabled Stories.
In addition to the competitive categories, special awards were presented to the following:
The Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award: Victoria Bailey, Executive Director of TDF for more than twenty years;
Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee: Ntozake Shange – Best known for her Obie Award-winning play for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (1975), the late NJ-born playwright, poet, and Black feminist focused her work on issues related to race and Black power;
Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephen McKinley Henderson – Trained at the Julliard School, the multiple award-nominated character actor came to prominence performing the plays of August Wilson, and was most recently seen in Between Riverside and Crazy, by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, in productions both on (2022) and off Broadway (2014 and 2015);
Body of Work: A.R.T./New York – Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York assists over 400 member theaters in managing their companies effectively and providing progressive services through its four core programs: funding, training, space, and connections, including shared office and rehearsal spaces and technical assistance programs for emerging members in NYC’s nonprofit theatre community.
Congratulations to all the winners and honorees!
The Lucille Lortel Awards were presented on Sunday, May 7, 2023, 7 pm, at the NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.