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"I would like to thank my fans, the voting committee, my Uncle Max, mom and dad...." and well, you know. It's the accolades that come with performing in the theater

Some drama and theater awards are well know and get prime time TV coverage. Others are not as high profile, but carry weight within the arts community and don't look too shabby on any performer's resume or Playbill profile.

There is a long list of theater awards that are regional, national or even international.

If you're looking for a top quality play or musical on Broadway, check out current Tony winners (the theater world's "Oscars") and other top awards handed out each year in New York City, the nation's theater mecca.

Other prestigious New York theatrical awards given annually include the Equity Awards given by Actors Equity for outstanding performances; the Drama Desk Awards for excellence on Broadway, off-Broadway, and non-profit New York theater; and the Obie Awards given to Off-Broadway productions and sponsored by The Village Voice.


Theater awards worldwide

Every nation honors theater in its own way, with proof that top live theater will be thrilling anywhere you happen to be -- from Oslo (the Hedda Awards) to Paris (the Molière Awards) to South Africa (the Naledi Awards).



America's Tony, France's Molière Award, the UK's Olivier, and Australia's "Bobbie" awards.


More famously, in London's West End top plays and musicals are given annual honors at the Olivier Awards -- including trophies for opera, dance, and off-West End productions.

The Oliviers also have an Australian equivalent, the Helpmann Awards given out in Sydney to the best of theater productions along with top concerts and other live staged performances. Named for Aussie theatrical legend Robert Helpmann, the awards named for him are familiarly known as the "Bobbies."

Each year, the "Doras" recognize excellence in theater and live performances in Canada -- with kudos officially known as the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Ceremonies take place each year in Toronto, the center of that country's theatrical universe.


Theater awards fun facts


Judi Dench, best actress x 2

The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Hairspary, The Book of Mormon, and The Producers have all won Best Musical honors on both the West End and on The Great White Way. Top dramas that have won Best Play on both sides of the Atlantic include Glengarry Glenn Ross, Six Degrees of Separation, and Whose Life Is It Anyway?

• Actress Judi Dench made Olivier Awards history when she took home the trophy for Best Actress for Absolute Hell AND Best Actress in a Musical for A Little Night Music in the same year, 1996.

• In Australia, the first-ever Helpmann Award for Best Musical went to Boy from Oz in 2001 starring Hugh Jackman. The Australian actor went on to win a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical when the show ran on Broadway three years later.

• The UK's Olivier Award is made of bronze, weights 3 1/2 lbs, and portrays a young Laurence Olivier in an acclaimed performance as Henry V at London's Old Vic Theatre in 1937.

• Hinged on a curved armature, the Tony Award medallion is the only award that spins.


More about theater awards around the Web:

TheaterMania's Guide to Theater Awards - Check out an extensive survey of theater awards given out in New York, Boston Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and more far-flung places around the US nationwide.

Performing Arts Awards - Here's the InfoPlease database of every top American honor with lists of winners and nominees in acting, directing, and writing.


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