The Drama League honors three powerhouses of the American theater community at the 84th Annual Drama League Awards. The honorees are Tony and Obie Award-winning actor, singer, and songwriter Idina Menzel, receiving the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; Tony-winning director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw, receiving the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; and the National Endowment for the Arts, receiving the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award. Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will accept this award on the NEA's behalf. These honors are in addition to the five competitive Drama League Awards: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award.
The 84th Annual Drama League Awards ceremony and luncheon includes a VIP cocktail reception, seated luncheon, and awards presentation. First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, the Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. The Drama League Awards recognize distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements. The first Drama League Award was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935; since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been given to a variety of theater legends, including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chita Rivera.