The Drama Desk Awards 2024: EVERYTHING You Need to Know!

Theater in NYC is one of the biggest, most beloved attractions for locals and tourists alike. And while most Broadway-loving people look forward to the Tony Awards that also take place during the spring, there’s a smaller awards ceremony that means a lot to those who are as passionate about off-Broadway productions as they are on-Broadway.

This year, the 68th Annual Drama Desk Awards is as exciting as ever, celebrating Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off Broadway productions that stole hearts worldwide.

Drama Desk Awards Winners 2023

These were the winners of last year’s Drama Desk Awards:

8 Drama Desk Awards 2023Some Like it Hot on Broadway Poster

4 Drama Desk Awards 2023Life of Pi on Broadway Poster

3 Drama Desk Awards 2023A Doll's House

3 Drama Desk Awards 2023Sweeney Todd on Broadway Poster

Some Like It Hot

Life of Pi

A Doll's House

Sweeney Todd

Shubert Theatre

Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

  • Outstanding Play 2023: Leopoldstadt
  • Outstanding Musical 2023: Some Like It Hot
  • Outstanding Revival of a Play 2023: The Piano Lesson
  • Outstanding Revival of a Musical: Parade

What are the Drama Desk Awards, and How Do They Work?

The Drama Desk Award is an annual prize that highlights the best of theater in NYC.

To understand what it is today, we have to throw it back to 1955 when the first award was given, titled originally the Vernon Rice Award. What started as an award for off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions, the prize has since encompassed on-Broadway shows as well. This transformation happened in 1964, which is also when the award changed its name to the Drama Desk Awards.

While the first award was given in 1955, the Drama Desk organization actually planted its roots in 1949. It started as a group of New York theater critics, editors, reporters, and publishers to talk about important issues within theater to the public.

Today, the Drama Desk comprises over 100 voluntary members who come from two categories: active voting members and participating members.

One of the coveted groups is the nominating committee, which means twice a month to highlight shows they believe all members should view. They are then nominated for the awards that all members will vote on.

When do the Drama Desk Awards take place?

The awards take place in two parts: the nomination announcement and then the awards ceremony. First, the nominations usually occur the last week of April, sometimes the first week of May. Then, the awards ceremony is held at the end of May, sometimes the beginning of June. The exact dates for 2024 are yet to be announced.

Where do the Drama Desk Awards take place?

Put simply: New York City! More specifically: The awards will occur at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City. It will be cohosted this year by Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody.

The Drama Desk Award Nominations 2023

  • Outstanding Play: A Case for the Existence, Fat Ham, Leopoldstadt, Love, Prima Facie, Wish You Were Here
  • Outstanding Musical: & Juliet, Between the Lines, F*ck7thGrade, The Wild Project, Shucked, Some Like it Hot
    White Girl in Danger
  • Outstanding Revival of a Play: A Raisin in the Sun, Death of a Salesman, Endgame, The Piano Lesson, Ohio State Murders, Wedding Band
  • Outstanding Revival of a Musical: A Man of No Importance, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, Parade, Sweeney Todd

In addition, 28 additional Drama Desk Awards will be presented.

Drama Desk Award Records

  • Shucked has become the most-nominated musical of the season with 12 nominations, and Life of Pi became the most-nominated play with five nominations for the 67th Annual Drama Desk Awards.
  • It was Some Like It Hot that won the most awards of the evening at 8.

How do I get tickets for the Drama Desk Awards?

Tickets to the awards ceremony are available to the public at the beginning of April at Dramadeskawards.com.

FAQ about the Drama Desk Awards 2023

Who has received the most Drama Desk Awards or Outstanding Lyrics?

Stephen Sondheim takes the title for most awards in this category, as he has won 10 awards. This is quite the feat, especially considering it’s out of twelve nominations.

What is the Drama Desk Special Award?

This prize was created to recognize a person or organization that made a significant contribution to the theatre, whether on Broadway, off-Broadway, or off-off-Broadway.

What are the retired awards for the Drama Desk Awards?

Over the years, the Drama Desk has called it quits to some awards as they have added more to the roster. The complete list of retired awards is as follows:

  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play
  • Outstanding Actress in a Play
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
  • Outstanding Director
  •  Outstanding Revival
  • Outstanding Costume Design
  • Outstanding Lighting Design
  • Outstanding Set Design
  • Outstanding Sound Design
Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

Did you like this article?