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Theatre World first published in 1945, is the only comprehensive, annual pictorial and statistical record of American theatre in print publication, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional theatre, as well as a complete national theatrical awards section and obituaries. Including over 750 photographs, it is the definitive pictorial and statistical reference to each American theatrical season, and is referenced daily by industry professionals, students, historians, and theatre fans worldwide.
Until 1998, the Theatre World editorial staff administered the Theatre World Awards for Outstanding Broadway and off-Broadway debuts. First under the supervision of Theatre World founder Daniel Blum and then under John Willis, who took over the production of the Awards following Blum's death in 1964, the Theatre World Awards were first given to those recipients considered "Promising Personalities." In 1998, the Theatre World Awards were incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and are currently overseen by a board of directors independent of "Theatre World."
Theatre World is the recipient of a 2001 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, presented by the American Theatre Wing, and on behalf of the publication, longtime editor-in-chief John Willis (1916-2010) accepted honors including the first Special Lucille Lortel Award, a Special Drama Desk Award, and the Broadway Theatre Institute (now The Theatre Museum) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Theatre World is published annually by Theatre World Media and distributed by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. The permanent editorial staff currently consists of Ben Hodges, editor in chief, and coeditor Scott Denny. Current editorial staff includes Adam Feldman of Time Out New York (Broadway), Linda Buchwald TDF Stages (Off-Broadway), Shay Gines New York Innovative Theatre Awards (Off-Off-Broadway), and Diep Tran American Theatre Magazine (Regional theatre).