Meet the Drama Desk Nominees 2018

The Drama Desk Award nominees gathered at Friedman's on West 47th Street inside the Hotel Edison on May 9, 2018.

Tina Fey & Joshua Henry

Yesterday the New York Theatre Guide was invited to meet the Nominees of The 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards at a special event hosted by Friedman's on West 47th Street inside the Hotel Edison in Manhattan. Many of this year's talented nominees attended to pose for photographs, talk to the press and be presented with their Drama Desk certificates. They also took the opportunity to mingle with fellow nominees and sample Friedman's delicious hor d'oeuvres before rushing off to get ready for their respective Wednesday matinee performances.

As previously announced, Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie will once again return to host this year's ceremony on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 8pm at The Town Hall, marking his third consecutive year as host of the prestigious awards.

We will publish our interviews with the cream of Broadway talent in full over the next number of weeks leading up towards the ceremony, so be sure to check back regularly, but in the meantime, here's just a sample of photos we would like to share with you from yesterday's event...


Mean Girls scribe Tina Fey in Interview


Carousel star Joshua Henry


SpongeBob SquarePants star Ethan Slater


The Iceman Cometh star David Morse


Frozen star Jelani Alladin in Interview


Once on This Island star Kenita R. Miller


Mean Girls star Kate Rockwell


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star Anthony Boyle


Carousel star Jessie Mueller


Mean Girls star Ashley Park


SpongeBob SquarePants director Tina Landau

The nominations for The 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards were previously announced on April 26 by "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" co-stars Titus Burgess and Jane Krakowski at Feinstein's/54 Below. The Broadway revival of Carousel leads the pack this year with a grand total of 12 nominations, closely followed by the Broadway premieres of SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls with 11 and 10 noms, respectively. The most nominated play this year is the Broadway premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which received a total of 8 nominations.

(It should be noted that in determining the eligibility of The Band's Visit, which ran off-Broadway last season at Atlantic Theatre Company, the nominating committee considered only those elements that constituted new work. For all other eligible productions, nominations are consistent with opening-night credits.)

Here is a reminder of all of this year's nominees in full:


The 2018 Nominees by category are:

Outstanding Play

Admissions, by Joshua Harmon, Lincoln Center Theater

Mary Jane, by Amy Herzog, New York Theatre Workshop

Miles for Mary, by The Mad Ones, Playwrights Horizons

People, Places & Things, by Duncan Macmillan, National Theatre/St. Ann's Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, by Jocelyn Bioh, MCC Theater


Outstanding Musical

Desperate Measures, The York Theatre Company

KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theatre Company/Woodshed Collective

Mean Girls

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59

SpongeBob SquarePants


Outstanding Revival of a Play

Angels in America

Hindle Wakes, Mint Theater Company

In the Blood, Signature Theatre Company

Three Tall Women

Travesties, Menier Chocolate Factory/Roundabout Theatre Company


Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Amerike-The Golden Land, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Carousel

My Fair Lady, Lincoln Center Theater

Once on This Island

Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company


Outstanding Actor in a Play

Johnny FlynnHangmen, Royal Court Theatre/Atlantic Theater Company

Andrew GarfieldAngels in America

Tom HollanderTravesties, Menier Chocolate Factory/Roundabout Theatre Company

James McArdleAngels in America

Paul SparksAt Home at the Zoo, Signature Theatre Company


Outstanding Actress in a Play

Carrie CoonMary Jane, New York Theatre Workshop

Denise GoughPeople, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann's Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

Glenda JacksonThree Tall Women

Laurie MetcalfThree Tall Women

Billie PiperYerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory


Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Jelani AlladinFrozen

Harry Hadden-PatonMy Fair Lady

Joshua HenryCarousel

Evan RuggieroBastard Jones, the cell

Ethan SlaterSpongeBob SquarePants


Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Gizel JiménezMiss You Like Hell, The Public Theater

LaChanzeSummer

Jessie MuellerCarousel

Ashley ParkKPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective

Daphne Rubin-VegaMiss You Like Hell, The Public Theater


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Anthony BoyleHarry Potter and the Cursed Child

Ben EdelmanAdmissions, Lincoln Center Theater

Brian Tyree HenryLobby Hero, Second Stage

Nathan LaneAngels in America

David MorseThe Iceman Cometh

Gregg MozgalaCost of Living, Manhattan Theatre Club


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Jocelyn BiohIn the Blood, Signature Theatre

Jamie BrewerAmy and the Orphans, Roundabout Underground

Barbara MartenPeople, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann's Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

Deirdre O'ConnellFulfillment Center, Manhattan Theatre Club

Constance ShulmanBobbie Clearly, Roundabout Underground


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Damon DaunnoThe Lucky Ones, Ars Nova

Alexander GemignaniCarousel

Grey HensonMean Girls

Gavin LeeSpongeBob SquarePants

Tony YazbeckPrince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Lindsay MendezCarousel

Kenita R. MillerOnce on This Island

Ashley ParkMean Girls

Diana RiggMy Fair Lady

Kate RockwellMean Girls


Outstanding Director of a Play

Marianne ElliottAngels in America

Jeremy HerrinPeople, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann's Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

Joe MantelloThree Tall Women

Lila NeugebauerMiles for Mary, Playwrights Horizons

Simon StoneYerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory

John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child


Outstanding Director of a Musical

Christian BarryOld Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59

Teddy BergmanKPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective

Jack O'BrienCarousel

Tina LandauSpongeBob SquarePants

Bartlett SherMy Fair Lady


The LaDuca Award for Outstanding Choreography

Camille A. BrownOnce on This Island

Christopher GattelliSpongeBob SquarePants

Casey NicholawMean Girls

Justin PeckCarousel

Nejla YatkinThe Boy Who Danced on Air, Abingdon Theatre Company


Outstanding Music

The BengsonsThe Lucky Ones, Ars Nova/Piece by Piece Productions/Z Space      

Ben Caplan, Christian Barry, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59

David FriedmanDesperate Measures, The York Theatre Company

Erin McKeownMiss You Like Hell, The Public Theater

Helen Park, Max Vernon, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective


Outstanding Lyrics

Nell BenjaminMean Girls

Quiara Alegría Hudes, Erin McKeownMiss You Like Hell, Public Theatre

Peter Kellogg, Desperate Measures, The York Theatre Company

Helen Park, Max VernonKPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective


Outstanding Book of a Musical

Tina FeyMean Girls

Kyle JarrowSpongeBob Squarepants

Peter KelloggDesperate Measures, York Theatre Company

Hannah MoscovitchOld Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2B Theatre/59E59


Outstanding Orchestrations

Tom KittSpongeBob SquarePants

Annmarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin (John Bertles and Bash the Trash, found instrument design) Once on This Island

Charlie Rosen, Erin McKeownMiss You Like Hell, Public Theater

Jonathan TunickPacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company

Jonathan TunickCarousel


Outstanding Music in a Play

Imogen HeapHarry Potter and the Cursed Child

Justin HicksMlima's Tale, Public Theatre

Amatus Karim-AliThe Homecoming Queen, Atlantic Theater Company

Justin LevineA Midsummer Night's Dream, The Public Theater

Adrian SuttonAngels in America


The Hudson Scenic Studio Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Play

Miriam BuetherThree Tall Women

Bunny ChristiePeople, Places & Things, St. Ann's Warehouse/National Theatre/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

Lizzie ClachanYerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory

Maruti EvansKill Move Paradise, National Black Theatre

Louisa ThompsonIn the Blood, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Set Design for a Musical

Louisa Adamson, Christian BarryOld Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59

Beowulf BorittPrince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club

Dane LaffreyOnce on This Island

Santo LoquastoCarousel

David ZinnSpongeBob SquarePants


Outstanding Costume Design for a Play

Dede M. AyiteSchool Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, MCC Theater

Jonathan FensomFarinelli and the King

Katrina LindsayHarry Potter and the Cursed Child

Ann RothThree Tall Women

Emilio SosaVenus, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical

Gregg BarnesMean Girls

Clint RamosOnce on This Island

David ZinnSpongeBob SquarePants

Catherine ZuberMy Fair Lady, Lincoln Center Theater

Dede M. AyiteBella: An American Tall Tale, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play

Neil AustinHarry Potter and the Cursed Child

Natasha Chivers1984

Alan C. EdwardsKill Move Paradise, National Black Theatre

Paul GalloThree Tall Women

Paul RussellFarinelli and the King


Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical

Louisa Adamson, Christian BarryOld Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2B Theatre Company/59E59

Amith ChandrashakerThe Lucky Ones

Jules Fisher, Peggy EisenhauerOnce on This Island

Brian MacDevittCarousel

Jeanette Oi-Suk YewKPOP, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Woodshed Collective


Outstanding Projection Design

David BengaliVan Gogh's Ear, Ensemble for the Romantic Century

Andrezj GouldingPeople, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann's Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

Peter NigriniSpongeBob SquarePants

Finn Ross and Adam YoungMean Girls

Finn Ross and Ash J. WoodwardHarry Potter and the Cursed Child


Outstanding Sound Design in a Play

Brendan AanesBalls, One Year Lease Theater Company/Stages Repertory Theatre/59E59

Gareth FryHarry Potter and the Cursed Child

Tom Gibbons1984

Tom GibbonsPeople, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann's Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong

Stefan GregoryYerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory

Palmer HefferanToday is My Birthday, Page 73 Productions


Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical

Kai HaradaThe Band's Visit

Scott LehrerCarousel

Will PickensKPOP, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Woodshed Collective

Dan Moses SchreierPacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company


Outstanding Wig and Hair

Carole HancockHarry Potter and the Cursed Child

Campbell Young AssociatesFarinelli and the King

Cookie JordanSchool Girls;, or The African Mean Girls Play, MCC Theater

Charles G. LaPointeSpongeBob SquarePants

Josh Marquette, Mean Girls


Outstanding Solo Performance

Billy CrudupHarry Clarke, Vineyard Theatre

David GreenspanStrange Interlude, Transport Group

Jon LevinA Hunger Artist, The Tank/Flint & Tinder

Lesli MargheritaWho's Holiday!

Sophie MelvilleIphigenia in Splott, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff/59E59


The Chase Award for Unique Theatrical Experience

Derren Brown: Secret, Atlantic Theater Company

Master, Foundry Theatre

Say Something Bunny!


Outstanding Fight Choreography

J. David BrimmerIs God Is, Soho Rep

Steve RankinCarousel

Unkle Dave's Fight HouseOedipus El Rey, The Public Theater/The Sol Project


Outstanding Puppet Design

Finn Caldwell, Nick BarnesAngels in America

Michael CurryFrozen

Charlie Kanev, Sarah Nolan, and Jonathan LevinA Hunger Artist, The Tank/Flint & Tinder

Vandy WoodThe Artificial Jungle, Theatre Breaking Through Barriers


SPECIAL AWARDS

To Sean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi of Jesus Hopped the A Train ­­whose last-minute entrances into the Signature production of this powerful play ensured it had a happy real-life ending

Ensemble Award: To Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Zainab Jah, Nike Kadri, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Myra Lucretia Taylor of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Playwhose characters learn the facts of life but whose portrayers taught us all a thing or two about the way things are.

Sam Norkin Award: To Juan Castano, whose varied performances this season in Oedipus El ReyA Parallelogram, and Transfers not only make a complex statement about American life but also indicate great things to come for this talented performer.


The Drama Desk nominating committee is comprised of David Barbour, Chairperson (Lighting & Sound America); Linda Buchwald (American Theatre, Playbill, TDF Stages, Theatre is Easy); Peter Filichia (Broadway Select, Broadway Radio); Helen Shaw (Time Out New York, Village Voice); Martha Wade Steketee (Theater Pizzazz)Zachary Stewart (TheaterMania); Doug Strassler (Garden State Journal, TDF Stages); and Charles Wright (President, Drama Desk), ex officio.

Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics' organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

(Photos by Austin Yang)