Honorees of NYC’s 76th Annual Theatre World Awards for 2022

In 1944, three young theater-lovers, Daniel Blum, Norman McDonald, and John Willis, had the idea of creating a yearly celebration that would acknowledge “Promising Personalities” – twelve premiere performances by actors appearing for the first time on Broadway. Founded by Willis and first presented in 1945, the Theatre World Awards are the oldest awards given annually at the end of the theater season to six actors and six actresses for their significant reviewable Outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway Debut Performances, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring newcomers to the stage to continue pursuing their dream.

This year’s 76th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony, directed by Tom D’Angora and Michael D’Angora, returns to a live in-person presentation on Monday, June 6, on the set of the Broadway revival of American Buffalo at Circle in the Square Theatre, 1633 Broadway. The awards presentation is a private by-invitation-only event hosted annually by theater journalist Peter Filichia, followed by a party to celebrate the new honorees and welcome them into the Theatre World community.

In what has become an entertaining and touching tradition, twelve previous honorees serve as the presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share their rarely heard stories. Past winners include Meryl Streep, Rosemary Harris, Marlon Brando, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, James Earl Jones, Liza Minnelli, Alan Alda, Zoe Caldwell, Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Al Pacino, Grace Kelly, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks, Lupita Nyong’o, and John Krasinski.

Honorees are chosen by the Theatre World Awards Committee, comprised of Linda Armstrong (Amsterdam News), David Cote (The Observer), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News, Emeritus), Peter Filichia (The Newark Star-Ledger, Emeritus), David Finkle (New York Stage Review), Elysa Gardner (USA Today, Emeritus), Harry Haun (BroadwayWorld), Cary Wong (Freelance), and Frank Scheck (The Hollywood Reporter).

The 2022 Theatre World Award Honorees For Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance during the 2021-2022 theatrical season are:

Patrick J. Adams, Take Me Out;

Yair Ben-Dor, Prayer for the French Republic;

Kearstin Piper Brown, Intimate Apparel;

Sharon D. Clarke, Caroline, Or Change;

Enrico Colantoni, Birthday Candles;

Justin Cooley, Kimberly Akimbo;

Crystal Finn, Birthday Candles;

Gaby French, Hangmen;

Myles Frost, MJ the Musical;

Jacquel Spivey, A Strange Loop;

Shannon Tyo, The Chinese Lady;

Kara Young, Clyde’s.

Honorees for the 13th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater, and the 9th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be announced shortly. The Dorothy Loudon Award is chosen by the Trustees of The Dorothy Loudon Foundation, together with recommendations from the Theatre World Awards Committee. The John Willis Award is presented annually by the Theatre World Awards Board of Directors, in honor of the man who created and maintained the Theatre World tradition for 66 years.

Congratulations to all the honorees for their outstanding performances.


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