In addition to the competitive awards noted above, Sir Richard Eyre--currently represented on Broadway by The Crucible--received the third Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing; accepting the award for Sir Richard was Liam Neeson, star of The Crudible, who himself was given an award for Distinguished Performance. (This is the nation's oldest acting honor; voted on by the entire Drama League membership, it was first presented in 1935, predating the Tony Awards by 12 years.) The Unique Contribution to Theatre Award was presented to Julia Hansen, chairman of the board and founder of the Directors Project, by André Bishop of Lincoln Center Theater. And the 2002 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award was presented to Elaine Stritch by George C. Wolfe of the Joseph Papp Public Theatre.
Proceeds from the annual awards luncheon support The Drama League Directors Project, a training program now in its 18th year. The Drama League is devoted to supporting and strengthening theater in America by broadening and stimulating audiences and by developing emerging theatrical talents. Following is a complete list of this season's award nominees:
Distinguished Production of a Play:
The Phantom Lady
The Shape of Things Topdog/Underdog
Distinguished Production of a Musical:
The Spitfire Grill
The Streets of New York
Sweet Smell of Success
Swimming with Watermelons
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Distinguished Production of a Revival:
Dance of Death
Into the Woods
Morning's at Seven
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