Home / Awards / ‘Spongebob,’ ‘Angels in America,’ Tina Fey among big winners at 63rd Drama Desk Awards

‘Spongebob,’ ‘Angels in America,’ Tina Fey among big winners at 63rd Drama Desk Awards

Spongebob SquarePants, Angels in America and Mean Girls were a hit with the Drama Desk Awards

The 63rd Drama Desk Awards were held last weekend, a bit of a dry run for next weekend’s big show, The Tony Awards. There’s a lot of crossover in nominations between the two groups with some winners here being the frontrunners there.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical won Outstanding Musical, Director of a Musical, Actor in a Musical (for Ethan Slater) and Featured Actor (Gavin Lee) plus Wig & Hair and Set Design for a total of six, the most of any show. The revival of Angels in America earned wins for Revival of a Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play for Andrew Garfield. Despite a whopping 12 nominations, Mean Girls managed just a single win but a big one – Outstanding Book of a Musical for Tina Fey.

Glenda Jackson (Three Tall Women) continued her storm with another Outstanding Actress in a Play win and Jessie Mueller took the Outstanding Actress in a Musical prize for the revival of Carousel. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a big winner, taking five of its eight nominations including Outstanding Director of a Play and the Music, Lighting and Sound categories.

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.

Here is the complete list of nominees and winners for this year’s Drama Desk Awards.

Outstanding Play
Admissions, by Joshua Harmon, Lincoln Center Theater **Winner**
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 **Winner**


Outstanding Revival of a Play
Angels in America **Winner**
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 **Winner**
Once on This Island
Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company


Outstanding Actor in a Play
Johnny Flynn, Hangmen, Royal Court Theatre/Atlantic Theater Company
Andrew Garfield, Angels in America **Winner**
Tom Hollander, Travesties, Menier Chocolate Factory/Roundabout Theatre Company
James McArdle, Angels in America
Paul Sparks, At Home at the Zoo, Signature Theatre Company


Outstanding Actress in a Play
Carrie Coon, Mary Jane, New York Theatre Workshop
Denise Gough, People, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann’s Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong
Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women **Winner**
Laurie Metcalf, Three Tall Women
Billie Piper, Yerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory


Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Jelani Alladin, Frozen
Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Carousel
Evan Ruggiero, Bastard Jones, the cell
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants **Winner**


Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Gizel Jiménez, Miss You Like Hell, The Public Theater
LaChanze, Summer
Jessie Mueller, Carousel **Winner**
Ashley Park, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Miss You Like Hell, The Public Theater


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Ben Edelman, Admissions, Lincoln Center Theater
Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero, Second Stage
Nathan Lane, Angels in America **Winner**
David Morse, The Iceman Cometh
Gregg Mozgala, Cost of Living, Manhattan Theatre Club


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Jocelyn Bioh, In the Blood, Signature Theatre
Jamie Brewer, Amy and the Orphans, Roundabout Underground **Winner**
Barbara Marten, People, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann’s Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong
Deirdre O’Connell, Fulfillment Center, Manhattan Theatre Club
Constance Shulman, Bobbie Clearly, Roundabout Underground


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Damon Daunno, The Lucky Ones, Ars Nova
Alexander Gemignani, Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants **Winner**
Tony Yazbeck, Prince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Carousel **Winner**
Kenita R. Miller, Once on This Island
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady
Kate Rockwell, Mean Girls


Outstanding Director of a Play
Marianne Elliott, Angels in America
Jeremy Herrin, People, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann’s Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong
Joe Mantello, Three Tall Women
Lila Neugebauer, Miles for Mary, Playwrights Horizons
Simon Stone, Yerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory
John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child **Winner**


Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christian Barry, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59
Teddy Bergman, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective
Jack O’Brien, Carousel
Tina Landau, SpongeBob SquarePants **Winner**
Bartlett Sher, My Fair Lady


The LaDuca Award for Outstanding Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Once on This Island
Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants
Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Justin Peck, Carousel **Winner**
Nejla Yatkin, The Boy Who Danced on Air, Abingdon Theatre Company


Outstanding Music
The Bengsons, The 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 Friedman, Desperate Measures, The York Theatre Company **Winner**
Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell, The Public Theater
Helen Park, Max Vernon, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective


Outstanding Lyrics
Nell Benjamin, Mean Girls
Quiara Alegría Hudes/Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell, Public Theatre
Peter Kellogg, Desperate Measures, The York Theatre Company **Winner**
Helen Park, Max Vernon, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective


Outstanding Book of a Musical
Tina Fey, Mean Girls **Winner**
Kyle Jarrow, SpongeBob Squarepants
Peter Kellogg, Desperate Measures, York Theatre Company
Hannah Moscovitch, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2B Theatre/59E59


Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Kitt, SpongeBob SquarePants
Annmarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin (John Bertles and Bash the Trash, found instrument design) Once on This Island
Charlie Rosen, Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell, Public Theater
Jonathan Tunick, Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company
Jonathan Tunick, Carousel **Winner**


Outstanding Music in a Play
Imogen Heap, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child **Winner**
Justin Hicks, Mlima’s Tale, Public Theatre
Amatus Karim-Ali, The Homecoming Queen, Atlantic Theater Company
Justin Levine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Public Theater
Adrian Sutton, Angels in America


The Hudson Scenic Studio Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, Three Tall Women **Winner**
Bunny Christie, People, Places & Things, St. Ann’s Warehouse/National Theatre/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong
Lizzie Clachan, Yerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory
Maruti Evans, Kill Move Paradise, National Black Theatre
Louisa Thompson, In the Blood, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Louisa Adamson, Christian Barry, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59
Beowulf Boritt, Prince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club
Dane Laffrey, Once on This Island
Santo Loquasto, Carousel
David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants **Winner**


Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Dede M. Ayite, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, MCC Theater
Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and the King **Winner**
Katrina Lindsay, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Ann Roth, Three Tall Women
Emilio Sosa, Venus, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Mean Girls
Clint Ramos, Once on This Island
David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants
Catherine Zuber, My Fair Lady, Lincoln Center Theater **Winner**
Dede M. Ayite, Bella: An American Tall Tale, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Neil Austin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child **Winner**
Natasha Chivers, 1984
Alan C. Edwards, Kill Move Paradise, National Black Theatre
Paul Gallo, Three Tall Women
Paul Russell, Farinelli and the King


Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Louisa Adamson, Christian Barry, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2B Theatre Company/59E59
Amith Chandrashaker, The Lucky Ones
Jules Fisher, Peggy Eisenhauer, Once on This Island **Winner**
Brian MacDevitt, Carousel
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, KPOP, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Woodshed Collective


Outstanding Projection Design
David Bengali, Van Gogh’s Ear, Ensemble for the Romantic Century
Andrezj Goulding, People, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann’s Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong
Peter Nigrini, SpongeBob SquarePants
Finn Ross and Adam Young, Mean Girls
Finn Ross and Ash J. Woodward, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child **Winner**


Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Brendan Aanes, Balls, One Year Lease Theater Company/Stages Repertory Theatre/59E59
Gareth Fry, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child **Winner** 
Tom Gibbons, 1984
Tom Gibbons, People, Places & Things, National Theatre/St. Ann’s Warehouse/Bryan Singer Productions/Headlong
Stefan Gregory, Yerma, Young Vic/Park Avenue Armory
Palmer Hefferan, Today is My Birthday, Page 73 Productions


Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Kai Harada, The Band’s Visit **Winner**
Scott Lehrer, Carousel
Will Pickens, KPOP, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Woodshed Collective
Dan Moses Schreier, Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company


Outstanding Wig and Hair
Carole Hancock, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Campbell Young Associates, Farinelli and the King
Cookie Jordan, School Girls;, or The African Mean Girls Play, MCC Theater
Charles G. LaPointe, SpongeBob SquarePants **Winner**
Josh Marquette, Mean Girls


Outstanding Solo Performance
Billy Crudup, Harry Clarke, Vineyard Theatre **Winner**
David Greenspan, Strange Interlude, Transport Group
Jon Levin, A Hunger Artist, The Tank/Flint & Tinder
Lesli Margherita, Who’s Holiday!
Sophie Melville, Iphigenia in Splott, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff/59E59


The Chase Award for Unique Theatrical Experience
Derren Brown: Secret, Atlantic Theater Company **Winner**
Master, Foundry Theatre
Say Something Bunny!


Outstanding Fight Choreography
J. David Brimmer, Is God Is, Soho Rep
Steve Rankin, Carousel **Winner**
Unkle Dave’s Fight House, Oedipus El Rey, The Public Theater/The Sol Project


Outstanding Puppet Design
Finn Caldwell, Nick Barnes, Angels in America
Michael Curry, Frozen **Winner**
Charlie Kanev, Sarah Nolan, and Jonathan Levin, A Hunger Artist, The Tank/Flint & Tinder
Vandy Wood, The 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 Play, whose 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.

 

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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