Announcing the winners of the 35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway

Winners of the 35th annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were announced tonight in a virtual ceremony beginning at 7 pm. Produced by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation, with additional support provided by the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), this year’s online event, benefitting The Actors Fund (as it does every year), was directed for a tenth consecutive time by Michael Heitzman and hosted by comedian, writer, and actor Mario Cantone.

The star-studded roster of presenters, who appeared remotely from their homes, included Jelani Alladin, Rachel Dratch, Jordan Fisher, Jackie Hoffman, Andy Karl, Nathan Lane, Tatiana Maslany, Debra Messing, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Nyabi Nyambi, Kelli O’Hara, Orfeh, Steven Pasquale, Lauren Patten, Allison Pill, Jeremy Pope, Condola Rashad, Krysta Rodriguez, Phillipa Soo, Sonya Tayeh, Marisa Tomei, Michael Urie, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Brian Stokes Mitchell delivered an address on behalf of The Actors Fund (for which he serves as Chairman) and Nathan Lane presented the “In Memoriam” segment, with tributes to the theater professionals we lost during this past season.

Tim Sanford. Photo by Zack DeZon.

Special awards introductions were made by Kelli O’Hara, who presented Tim Sanford (Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons) with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and producer Daryl Roth, who introduced writer, performer, and teacher Anna Deavere Smith as the latest Playwrights Sidewalk Inductee at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Anna Deavere Smith. Photo by Gregory Costanzo.

In the competitive awards, a total of 95 nominations in nineteen categories recognized 41 shows from the 101 eligible Off-Broadway productions of 2019-20. The winners were determined by the Voting Committee, comprised of representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theater journalists, academics, and other Off-Broadway professionals.

The 2020 Lucille Lortel Awards recipients by category are:

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: A tie – Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors and John-Andrew Morrison, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Kuhoo Verma, Octet

Outstanding Scenic Design: You-Shin Chen and Laura Jellinek, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie

Outstanding Costume Design: A tie – Toni-Leslie James, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf and Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Francis Jue, Cambodian Rock Band

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Michele Pawk, Heroes of the Fourth Turning

Outstanding Sound Design: Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.

Outstanding Lighting Design: Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning

Outstanding Projection Design: Ruey Horng Sun, The Headlands

Outstanding Solo Show: Dana H. (produced by Vineyard Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Center Theatre Group; written by Lucas Hnath; performed by Deirdre O’Connell)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical: Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical: Grace McLean, In The Green

Outstanding Choreographer: Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

Outstanding Director: Annie Tippe, Octet

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play: Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play: Emily Davis, Is This a Room

Outstanding Revival: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (produced by The Public Theater; written by Ntozake Shange)

Outstanding Musical: Octet (produced by Signature Theatre; book, music, and lyrics by Dave Malloy)

Outstanding Play: Heroes of the Fourth Turning (produced by Playwrights Horizons; written by Will Arbery).

Cheers to all of the nominees and winners honored by the Lucille Lortel Awards, and appreciation to all for bringing their exceptional talents to Off-Broadway’s stages.

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Deb Miller
Deb Miller (PhD, Art History) is the Senior Correspondent and Editor for New York City, where she grew up seeing every show on Broadway. She is an active member of the Outer Critics Circle and served for more than a decade as a Voter, Nominator, and Judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Outside of her home base in NYC, she has written and lectured extensively on the arts and theater throughout the world (including her many years in Amsterdam, London, and Venice, and her extensive work and personal connections with Andy Warhol and his circle) and previously served as a lead writer for Stage Magazine, Phindie, and Central Voice.


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