January 28, 2019

Broadway Brands inks deal to present 64th Annual Drama Desk Awards

Broadway Brands, publisher of Broadway News and Broadway Briefing, and the Drama Desk jointly announced today that Broadway Brands will present the Drama Desk Awards beginning with the upcoming 2019 ceremony.

The 64th annual event will take place on June 2, 2019 at 8:00p.m. at The Town Hall.

The cut-off for nominations will be April 24, 2019. Nominations will be announced April 25, 2019.

Joey Parnes Productions will produce the ceremony, as it has since 2012 and Matt Britten, Broadway Brands CEO, will serve as executive producer of the Drama Desk Awards.

"Matt Britten and his innovative company, Broadway Brands, are a perfect match for our organization," said Drama Desk co-presidents Charles Wright and David Barbour. "Matt cares deeply about New York theater and, especially, about the health and welfare of theater journalism. At a time when platforms for theater writing are shrinking and going out of business, Broadway Brands is finding new ways to cover the industry and encourage lively, intelligent discussion of drama and theater artists. We're delighted by this new association with Broadway Brands and excited about the 64th annual presentation of the Drama Desk Awards in June."

"The Drama Desk Awards are one of the great, long-standing traditions in our community, created by theater journalists to celebrate outstanding theater," Britten said. "At Broadway Brands, we celebrate the history of the industry while we are even more excited for its future. When we learned that the Drama Desk Awards were in need of new support, we knew immediately that we wanted to be a part of it. Broadway News, one of our brands, is focused on revitalizing theater journalism, and so it just makes sense on all levels to partner with this storied institution. We look forward to building a new network of support within the theater community to take this important event into its seventh decade and beyond," he added.

"Broadway Brands is a perfect fit for the Drama Desks," said Joey Parnes. "We've had a great time working with the Drama Desks for the past seven years and are looking forward to our continued collaboration."

Following the 2019 ceremony, Broadway Brands will explore future enhancements for the event, including negotiating a new television/streaming deal for the Drama Desk Awards beginning with the 2020 ceremony.

The annual Drama Desk Awards honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. The Drama Desk Awards are voted on and bestowed by theater critics, journalists, editors, publishers and broadcasters covering theater. The Drama Desk Awards reflect enthusiasm for all aspects of New York's professional theater.

Previous winners include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bernadette Peters, Cynthia Erivo, Nathan Lane, Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Cynthia Nixon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren as well as Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting design) Tina Landau (director), Tina Fey (book writer), Warren Carlyle (choreography), Jason Robert Brown (orchestrations), Ivo van Hove (director), Philip Glass (music), Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (director), Beth Wohl (playwright), and many others.

The 2018-2019 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: Martha Wade Steketee (The Clyde Fitch Report, Dramatics, HowlRound), Chair; Linda Buchwald (American Theatre, TDF Stages, Theatre is Easy); Peter Filichia (Broadway Select; Broadway Radio; books including Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks, St. Martin's Press); Helen Shaw (4Columns, Time Out New York, American Theatre); Jose SolĂ­s (American Theatre's Token Theatre Friends, TDF Stages, American Theatre); Zachary Stewart (Theatermania.com); Doug Strassler (Garden State Journal, Back on the Block, TDF Stages); Charles Wright (Drama Desk Co-President), ex officio.

About Drama Desk

The mission of the Drama Desk is to recognize outstanding achievement in New York theater and encourage discussion of issues significant to theater professionals. The organization accomplishes these goals by bestowing annual awards in more than 30 categories of theater arts and crafts, hosting the awards celebration, and presenting educational forums and panel discussions on theater topics.

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 by New York Times arts reporter Sam Zolotow, Edith Oliver of The New Yorker, and New York Post critic Vernon Rice, among others. Six years later, after Rice's untimely death, the organization initiated an award in his honor for outstanding achievement Off-Broadway. Subsequently expanded and renamed the Drama Desk Awards, they now recognize accomplishments on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway.

About Joey Parnes Productions

Led by Joey Parnes, a Broadway producer and general manager with over 40 years' experience, Joey Parnes Productions produces, executive produces, and general manages theatrical productions from the commercial and non-profit worlds, both on and off Broadway, internationally and on the road. Currently represented on Broadway by To Kill A Mockingbird and on the road with the Tony Award winning Hello, Dolly!. Upcoming Broadway productions include King Lear, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, and Hillary and Clinton. Recent Broadway credits include The Waverly Gallery, Meteor Shower, Three Tall Women, The Iceman Cometh (2018), Carousel (2018), Hello, Dolly! (2017; Tony Award), 1984, A Doll's House, Part 2, The Glass Menagerie (2017), The Front Page (2016), Shuffle Along, The Crucible (2016), Bright Star, Blackbird, The Humans (Tony Award), A View from the Bridge (2015), Fish in the Dark, Skylight (2015; Tony Award), A Delicate Balance, This Is Our Youth, A Raisin In The Sun (2014; Tony Award), A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award), Betrayal (2013), Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Tony Award), and the revival of HAIR (2011; Tony Award). Joey is a past president of the Yale Dramatic Association and teaches Producing for the Commercial Theatre at Yale School of Drama. Joey served as the Coordinating Producer of the Tony Awards from 2001 to 2008 and has produced the Drama Desk Awards since 2012.

About Broadway Brands

Based in the heart of Times Square, Broadway Brands (www.broadwaybrands.com) is a theater media conglomerate that seeks to build creative, informative, and inspiring products for a variety of audiences on Broadway and beyond. The company made its debut in 2015 with the launch of Broadway Briefing, and recently launched Broadway News, with more brands on the way.

Broadway Briefing (www.broadwaybriefing.com) is a fun, fast (and free) must-read morning newsletter for theater professionals.

Broadway News (www.broadway.news) is the new home for original theater journalism from editor-in-chief Caitlin Huston, with reviews by Charles Isherwood and Elizabeth Bradley, and featuring contributions from experienced theater journalists including Jeremy Gerard, Gordon Cox, Jan Simpson, and David Cote.

Broadway Brands is building a community of entertainment entrepreneurs, with a passion for taking show business seriously. It celebrates the history of the industry, and is even more excited for its future.