First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatrical awards chosen by the entire theatre community – specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and off-Broadway productions. The membership includes award-winning actors, designers, directors, playwrights, producers, industry veterans, critics and dedicated audiences from across the nation.
At the height of the theatrical season each May, The Drama League Awards are presented in a star-studded luncheon ceremony. Lauded as "a wonderful, notoriously swanky affair" by Playbill and as "the best party on Broadway" by John Lithgow, the Awards Luncheon is considered my many to be the most intimate and friendly event of the awards season.
The Drama League presents five competitive awards: Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Revival of a Musical, and the Distinguished Performance Award.
Additionally, The Drama League presents three special honors each year: Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater, Unique Contribution to the Theater, and the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.