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Six and Kimberly Akimbo Lead 2022 Drama Desk Nominations

May 16th, 2022 | By Caitlin Moynihan

Nominations have been announced for the 66th Annual Drama Desk Awards, honoring the best in Broadway, off and off-off-Broadway theater in the 2021-22 season. George Takei announced the nominations on May 16. Winners for this year’s Drama Desk Awards will be announced the week of June 6. The Tony-nominated new musical Six earned the most nomination with 10, including a special award for the ensemble cast. The Broadway-bound Kimberly Akimbo followed closely behind with nine nominations.

The Drama Desk Awards are voted on and bestowed by theater critics, journalists, editors and publishers covering theater. The following shows were not eligible because they were considered in other seasons: A Strange Loopfor colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Hangmen, Girl from the North Country, Skeleton Crew, The Lehman Trilogy Dana H.Is This A Room, Beyond Babel, Coal Country, Get On Your Knees, The Patsy and What to Send Up When It Goes Down. Trouble in Mind was considered a revival due to its eligibility when it ran off-Broadway in 1955.

Here is a full list of nominees:

Outstanding Play
Cullud Wattah, by Erika Dickerson-Despenza
English, by Sanaz Toossi
Prayer for the French Republic, by Joshua Harmon
Sanctuary City, by Martyna Majok
Selling Kabul, by Sylvia Khoury
The Chinese Lady, by Lloyd Suh

Outstanding Musical
Intimate Apparel
Kimberly Akimbo
The Hang

Outstanding Revival of a Play
for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
How I Learned to Drive
Lackawanna Blues
Skeleton Crew
Trouble in Mind
Twilight: Lost Angeles, 1992

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Caroline, or Change

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Brandon J. DirdenSkeleton Crew
Jesse Tyler FergusonTake Me Out
Jacob Ming-Trent, Merry Wives
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Lackawanna Blues
John Douglas Thompson, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Tala Ashe, English
Ruth NeggaMacbeth
Andrea Patterson, Cullud Wattah
Phylicia RashadSkeleton Crew
Shannon Tyo, The Chinese Lady
Michelle Wilson, Confederates

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Billy CrystalMr. Saturday Night
Myles FrostMJ
Rob McClureMrs. Doubtfire
Jaquel Spivey, A Strange Loop
Chip ZienHarmony

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kearstin Piper BrownIntimate Apparel
Victoria ClarkKimberly Akimbo
Sharon D ClarkeCaroline, or Change
Jeanna de WaalDiana
Joaquina KalukangoParadise Square

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Joshua BooneSkeleton Crew
Chuck CooperTrouble in Mind
Daniel K. Isaac, The Chinese Lady
Billy Eugene JonesOn Sugarland
Ron Cephas JonesClyde’s

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Francis Benhamou, Prayer for the French Republic
Stephanie Berry, On Sugarland
Sonnie Brown, what you are now
Page Leong, Out of Time
Kenita R. Millerfor colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
Kara YoungClyde’s

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Justin Austin, Intimate Apparel
Justin CooleyKimberly Akimbo
Matt DoyleCompany
Jared GrimesFunny Girl
Tavon Olds-SampleMJ

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Judy Kuhn, Assassins
Tamika LawrenceBlack No More
Patti LuPoneCompany
Bonnie MilliganKimberly Akimbo
Jennifer SimardCompany

Outstanding Solo Performance
Alex Edelman, Just for Us
Arturo Luís SoriaNi Mi Madre
Kristina Wong, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord

Outstanding Director of a Play
Knud Adams, English
Saheem Ali, Merry Wives
Rebecca Frecknall, Sanctuary City
Taibi Magar, Twilight: Lost Angeles, 1992
Whitney White, On Sugarland

Outstanding Director of a Musical
John Doyle, Assassins
Marianne Elliott, Company
Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage, Six
Bartlett Sher, Intimate Apparel
Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Choreography
Ayodele Casel (tap choreography), Funny Girl
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Six
Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman & Jason Oremus (Irish Hammerstep), Gelan Lambert & Chloe Davis (associates), Paradise Square
Liam Steel, Company
Christopher Wheeldon, Michael Balderrama (associate), Rich and Tone Taleuega (Michael Jackson Movement), MJ

Outstanding Music Presented by Music Theatre International
Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss, Six
Jason Howland, Paradise Square
Matt Ray, The Hang
Carrie Rodriguez, ¡Americano!
Jeanine Tesori, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Lyrics Presented by Music Theatre International
Amanda Green, Mr. Saturday Night
Taylor Mac, The Hang
Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss, Six
David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo
Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel
Shaina Taub, Suffs

Outstanding Book of a Musical Presented by Music Theatre International
Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel, Mr. Saturday Night
Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss, Six
Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel
Bruce Sussman, Harmony

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Curran, Six
Greg Jarrett, Assassins, Classic Stage Company
Mark Hartman & Yasuhiko Fukuoka, The Streets of New York
Jason Michael Webb & David Holcenberg, MJ

Outstanding Music in a Play
Te’La & Kamauu, Thoughts of a Colored Man
Bill Sims Jr., Lackawanna Blues
Michael Thurber & Farai Malianga (drum compositions), Merry Wives 

Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Merry Wives
Wilson Chin, Pass Over
Marsha Ginsberg, English
Takeshi Kata, Clyde’s
Junghyun Georgia Lee, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord

Outstanding Set Design for a Musical Presented by Hudson Scenic
Emma Bailey, Six
Beowulf Boritt, Flying Over Sunset
Bunny Christie, Company
David Zinn, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Linda Cho, The Chinese Lady
Gregory Gale, Fairycakes
Tilly Grimes, The Alchemist
Qween Jean, On Sugarland
Jennifer Moeller, Clyde’s

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical Presented by Production Resource Group
Machine Dazzle, The Hang
Susan Hilferty, Funny Girl
Santo Loquasto, The Music Man
Gabriella Slade, Six
Catherine Zuber, Intimate Apparel

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Christopher Akerlind, Clyde’s
Reza Behjat, English
Isabella Byrd, Sanctuary City
Amith Chandrashaker, Prayer for the French Republic
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Cullud Wattah

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Natasha Katz, Diana
Natasha Katz, MJ
Bradley King, Flying Over Sunset
Jennifer Tipton, Intimate Apparel

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Tyler Kieffer, Seven Deadly Sins
Hidenori Nakajo & Ryan Rumery, Autumn Royal
Ben & Max Ringham, Cyrano de Bergerac
Mikaal Sulaiman, Sanctuary City
Lee Kinney, Selling Kabul

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Company
Paul Gatehouse, Six
Kai Harada, Kimberly Akimbo
Gareth Owen, MJ

Outstanding Projection Design
59 Productions, Flying Over Sunset
David Bengali, Twilight: Lost Angeles, 1992
Stephania Bulbarella & Alex Basco Koch, Space Dogs
Shawn Duan, The Chinese Lady
Sven Ortel, Thoughts of a Colored Man

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design
Matthew B. Armentrout, Paradise Square
David Brian Brown, Mrs. Doubtfire
Paul Huntley, Diana
Charles LaPointe, MJ

Outstanding Puppet Design
Amanda Villalobos, Wolf Play
James Ortiz, The Skin of Our Teeth
Rockefeller Productions, Winnie the Pooh

The Chase Award for Unique Theatrical Experience
Seven Deadly Sins, Tectonic Theater Project & Madison Wells Live

Outstanding Adaptation
Merry Wives, by Jocelyn Bioh
The Alchemist, by Jeffrey Hatcher

Ensemble Award: 
Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly and Anna Uzele, Six
The actors bring to musical life the women who married England’s King Henry VIII. The fanciful result is a buoyant dramatization of their individually purposeful and collectively empowering journeys.

Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award: 
Marjan Neshat
This season, as a woman hiding her brother from the Taliban in Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul and an English instructor straddling two very different cultures in Sanaz Toossi’s English, Marjan Neshat embodied disparate characters so fully that it was hard to recognize the single actor in the two roles. Whether in drama or comedy, Neshat mines the playwright’s text for a vast panoply of emotions that yield vivid, intricate portrayals of the parts she undertakes.

Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award:
Alice Childress.
In four decades as playwright, novelist, actor, and director, Alice Childress (1912-1994) challenged racism with engrossing stories and memorable characters. When a New York producer demanded revisions to soften the impact of Trouble in Mind, Childress withdrew the script. Sixty-five years later, the Drama Desk celebrates the long-delayed Broadway premiere of this timeless masterpiece and salutes Childress as a towering figure in contemporary theater history.

Additional Special Awards:

Dede Ayite seems to have costumed half the actors of this theater season with her designs for Merry WivesSeven Deadly SinsThe Last of the Love LettersChicken and BiscuitsSlave PlayNollywood DreamsAmerican Buffalo, and How I learned to Drive. Whether dressing working-class Marylanders of the 1960s, amateur criminals of the 1970s, or West African immigrants in today’s Harlem, Ayite has a knack for conveying characters’ means, values, and aspirations before the actors utter a word.

Adam Rigg devised wildly varying scenic designs this season including: a house in wood, shadow, and reflective glass that draws the audience into the Flint, Michigan water crisis in Cullud Wattah</em>; a community cul-de-sac where trauma and history are celebrated in On Sugarland</em>; and the falling walls, flower-covered hillsides, and functional seaside fun ride of The Skin of Our Teeth.

With the category-defying Oratorio for Living Things, Heather Christian aims to encompass all human existence in a single inventive and startlingly beautiful work. In times of pandemic, war, and social upheaval, Christian’s work (directed by Lee Sunday Evans and brought to life by a superb cast and creative team) is an awe-inspiring reminder that, even in the darkest times, there will always be artistic peaks to scale.


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