AUDELCO, the Audience Development Committee, Inc., was established in 1973 by Vivian Robinson to honor excellence in African American theatre in New York City.

AUDELCO presents the Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards (also known as Viv awards) annually. The awards were created to promote "recognition, understanding, and awareness of the arts in the African-American community".

The AUDELCO awards recognize the following Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway

  • Productions by African-American companies
  • Productions written and/or directed by African-Americans
  • African-American actors in productions

AUDELCO has an office in Harlem, and the current president is Grace L. Jones[1] The board of directors includes: A. Curtis Farrow, Ralph Carter, Toni Peterson, Jacqueline Jeffries, Linda Armstrong, Donna M. Mills, Fred R. Powell, Mary Seymour, Dale Ricardo Shields, Terrence Spivey, Ronald Stone, and the Mary B. Davis Chair Emeritus.[2] The organization has thousands of members, a newsletter, and an African-American theater collection including books, photographs, slides, and scripts, as well as an extensive clippings file on African-American theatre.

The AUDELCO awards recognize productions by professional, not-for-profit theater organizations that have existed for at least two years and have had a minimum of 500 hours of rehearsal, performance, and/or training. Productions have to be performed over 12 times within the year (September 1 through August 31). Workshop productions and works-in-progress are not eligible for the awards.

Michael O'Hare was the first white actor to win this award, for his performance in the play Shades of Brown which examined the effects of apartheid in South Africa. Previous AUDELCO awardees include: Kerry Washington (AUDELCO's first rising star award), George Faison, Loretta Abbott, André De Shields,[3] Samuel L. Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen, Denzel Washington, Barbara Montgomery, Sanaa Lathan, and others.


  1. ^ BWW News Desk (May 27, 2015). "AUDELCO President Grace L. Jones Attends No Name Show in Washington Heights". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors | Audience Development Committee, Inc". Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  3. ^ AUDELCO Awards "The VIV's" 2014 Vivian Robinson Recognition for Excellence in Black Theater on YouTube.

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