Marianne Elliott & Terrence McNally to be honored by The Drama League

The Gratitude Awards Spring 2020 will be presented online on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30pm (ET).

Marianne Elliott & Terrence McNally

Following the Drama League's previous announcement of The Gratitude Awards Spring 2020, the league has now confirmed this year's special Honorees. It has also revealed that the pre-recorded digital fundraiser will be broadcast online on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30pm (ET).

The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing will be presented to two-time Tony Award winner Marianne Elliott, whose Broadway credits include War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Angels in America. Her Olivier Award-winning revival of Company began previews at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on March 2, but was forced to close due to the current COVID-19 pandemic ahead of its intended opening.

Four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally will be honored with The Unique Contribution to Theater Award. The much-loved playwright sadly passed away on March 24, 2020, following COVID-19 complications and his husband and Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy will be accepting the award on Mr. McNally's behalf. In 2019, he was also the recipient of the Special Tony Award For Lifetime Achievement in celebration of a Broadway career that spanned six decades. He won Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995) and Master Class (1996) and for his books for the iconic musicals Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993) and Ragtime (1998). Other notable credits include The Ritz, The Full Monty, Mothers and Sons, It's Only a Play, The Visit, Anastasia, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and A Perfect Ganesh, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1994.

The Gratitude Awards Spring 2020 will include an In Memoriam section, presented by Jeff Kaufman & Marcia Ross (producers of Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life).

The Nominees for The Gratitude Awards will be announced on on Thursday, April 23, 2020 and the fundraiser itself (on April 30) is set to include vignettes from Broadway’s biggest stars and past Drama League Award winners and nominees. It will also include the nominations announcement for The Drama League’s 86th Annual Artistic Awards by Beetlejuice stars Alex Brightman and Leslie Rodriguez Krizter (previously scheduled for April 16 at Sardi's). All productions that have premiered up until March 11, 2020 are eligible for nomination.

The Drama League Awards were first awarded back in 1922 and were formalised as such in 1935, becoming the oldest theatrical honors in the United States. They remain the only major theatergoer awards chosen together by both industry professionals and audience members — specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

(Photos credit: IBDB)