The Theatre World Award is an American honor presented annually to actors and actresses in recognition of an outstanding New York City stage debut performance, either on Broadway or Off-Broadway. It was first awarded for the 1945–1946 theatre season.
In 1944, the Theatre World Awards were founded by Daniel Blum, Norman McDonald, and John Willis, recognizing "Promising Personalities", actors and actresses, in debut performances, in Broadway or Off-Broadway productions. In the first year Blum presented the awards in his apartment, at a cocktail party, to Betty Comden, Judy Holliday and John Raitt, and the second year to Barbara Bel Geddes, Marlon Brando, and Burt Lancaster. At Blum's 1949 party, Carol Channing won. The Theatre World editorial staff administered the Awards, under the supervision of Daniel Blum.
In 1964, after Daniel Blum's death, John Willis supervised the Awards. In 1969, the award was renamed the Theatre World Award. The early awards were a framed certificate, then a plaque, later in 1973, the bronze Janus Award, sculpted by Harry Marinsky. 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."
Winners are selected by a committee of New York-based critics. That committee includes (as of May 2015) Roma Torre (NY1), David Cote (Time Out7 New York, NY1), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News), Peter Filichia (The Newark Star-Ledger, Eme76ritus), Harry Haun (Playbill), Matthew Murray (TalkinBroadway.com), and Frank Scheck (New York Post).  .
Special honorary awardsEdit
The Dorothy Loudon Starbaby Award was instituted in 2009, named in honor of actress and singer Dorothy Loudon (1925–2003) and since 2010 has been awarded by the Dorothy Loudon Foundation in connection with these awards. The first Starbaby Award was presented to Susan Louise O'Connor (Blithe Spirit). Other recipients are Bobby Steggert (Ragtime and Yank!) (2009–10), Seth Numrich (War Horse) (2010–11), and Susan Pourfar (Tribes). In 2013, it was renamed Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater.
The first annual Lunt–Fontanne Award for Ensemble Excellence was presented at the 2010–11 Awards, to the cast of The Motherf**ker with the Hat – Bobby Cannavale, Chris Rock, Annabella Sciorra, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Yul Vázquez. The award is in honor of the late Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and is presented to an outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway ensemble. In 2022 an award for "Outstanding Ensemble" was presented to the 21 cast members making their Broadway debuts in the revival of The Music Man.
John Willis AwardEdit
A new award, the John Willis Award, was first instituted for the 2012–13 season. It is given for "lifetime achievement in the theatre" to honor John Willis who created and maintained the Theatre World tradition for 66 years, encouraging new talent in an often challenging business." The first recipient was Alan Alda.
The award ceremonyEdit
The winners for the 2010–11 season were announced on May 10, 2011, with a ceremony held on June 7; the awards are traditionally presented by former award winners. The awards for the 2011–11 season were announced on May 8, 2012, and presented at a ceremony held on June 5, 2012, at the Belasco Theatre.
The awards for the 2012–13 season were announced on May 7, 2013, and the 69th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony was held on June 3 at the Music Box Theater. The awards for the 2013–14 season were announced on May 6, 2014, and the ceremony was held on June 2, 2014, at Circle in the Square. The awards for the 2014–15 season were announced on May 5, 2015; the ceremony will be held on June 1, 2015, at the Lyric Theatre.
Past recipients, from 1944—1945 to 2015—2016
- "History". Theatre World Awards. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
- "Henry (Harry) Marinsky (American, 1909–2008)". medallicartcollector.com. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
- "Henry (Harry) Marinsky". Artnet. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
- Viagas, Robert. "Dates Announced for 71st Annual Theatre World Awards; Chita Rivera To Be Honored", playbill.com, May 1, 2015.
- Gans, Andrew. "Tom Hanks, Bertie Carvel, Valisia LeKae, Rob McClure and More Are Theatre World Award Winners" playbill.com, May 7, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew."Theatre World Awards Presented to Tracie Bennett, Jeremy Jordan, Jennifer Lim and More June 5", playbill.com, June 5, 2012.
- Gans, Andrew.Bobby Steggert to Receive Dorothy Loudon Starbaby Award at Theatre World Awards" playbill.com, May 20, 2010.
- Gans, Andrew."Ellen Barkin, Patina Miller, John Larroquette, Jim Parsons, Tony Sheldon and More Win Theatre World Awards", playbill.com, May 10, 2011.
- BWW News Desk.2010-11 "Theatre World Award Winners Announced - Barkin, Hemingway, Larroquette, Miller, Quinto, Sheldon, 'Motherf**cker' & More" broadwayworld.com, May 10, 2011.
- Gans, Andrew. "76th Annual Theatre World Awards, Honoring Sharon D Clarke, Patrick J. Adams, Jaquel Spivey, More, Presented June 6", Playbill, June 6, 2022
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen. "Ramin Karimloo, Zachary Levi & Chris O'Dowd Among 2014 Theatre World Award Winners" broadway.com, May 6, 2014
- Viagas, Robert. "Broadway Siblings Megan and Robert Fairchild Among 71st Annual Theatre World Award Winners" playbill.com, May 5, 2015
- "Past Recipients". Theatre World Awards. Archived from the original on 2021-06-05. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
- Gans, Andrew (May 11, 2009). "Billy Boys, Gwynne, Ireland, Rush and Grisetti Among Theatre World Award Winners". playbill.com. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Viagas, Robert. "71st Annual Theatre World Award Announced Today – Chita Rivera Earns Lifetime Achievement Honor" playbill.com, May 5, 2015
- Gans, Andrew. "Theatre World Awards Announce 2016 Winners" playbill.com, May 2, 2016
- BWW News Desk. "Breaking: Stars from 'Great Comet', 'Anastasia', 'Miss Saigon' & More Earn 2017 Theatre World Awards!" BroadwayWorld.com, May 11, 2017