Due to the pandemic that shuttered New York theatre in March 2020, the Theatre World Awards, which annually honor debut performances with an invitation-only ceremony, will instead present a virtual event honoring Broadway’s best July 11 at 7 PM ET.
Honorees, according to Deadline, include Tony winners Patti LuPone and André De Shields, who will both receive the 8th Annual John Willis Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, who will receive the Dorothy Loudon Special Award for Excellence in the Theater.
Tom D’Angora and Michael D’Angora, who produce with Tim Guinee, will direct the upcoming event, which will include performances by previous winners.
“When the universe allows, we will bestow Theatre World Awards to 12 New York stage newcomers who made their significant debuts on or Off-Broadway in the 2021-–2022 season, with special honors to those who made their debuts in 2019- 2020,” said Theatre World Awards President Dale Badway.
“The 8th John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre and the 12th Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater, triumphantly celebrate the ongoing excellence in theatre during these challenging times,” added Badway. “We look forward to celebrating the world of theatre at our 76th Theatre World Awards ceremony in June 2022.”
Although the virtual event is free, donations will be used to present the eventual in-person 76th Theatre World Awards.
The Theatre World Awards, the oldest awards given for Outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway debut performances, were first presented in 1945. The most recent ceremony, in 2019, honored Jeremy Pope (Choir Boy), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Bonnie Milligan (Head Over Heels), Gbenga Akinnagbe (To Kill a Mockingbird), Tom Glynn-Carney (The Ferryman), Sophia Anne Caruso (Beetlejuice), Paddy Considine (The Ferryman), James Davis (Oklahoma!), Micaela Diamond (The Cher Show), Simone Missick (Paradise Blue), Colton Ryan (Girl From the North Country), and Stephanie Styles (Kiss Me, Kate).