Stephen McKinley Henderson, Ntozake Shange & A.R.T./New York to be Honored at 38th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 7

The 38th Annual Lortel Awards will take place Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 7:00PM at NYU Skirball Center. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, with additional support provided by TDF. In addition to the regular awards, including non-gendered performance awards and the ensemble award – both added last year – special awards will be presented in three categories. The event will, as always, be open to the public, with tickets available for purchase beginning April 7 at or at the NYU Skirball Center box office Tuesday – Saturday 12pm-6pm. As always, the Lortel Awards is a benefit for the Entertainment Community Fund and fans are encouraged to make donations at

Stephen McKinley Henderson. Photo by Lia Chang

2023 Special Award Recipients
Lifetime Achievement Award – Stephen McKinley Henderson
Stephen McKinley Henderson recently starred currently on Broadway in Stephen Adley Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize winning drama, Between Riverside and Crazy, for which he previously received Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards during the Off-Broadway run. He earned a Tony Award nomination for his Featured Performance in Fences and received a Drama Desk Award for his role in the ensemble of Jitney. Henderson is also a two-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee, whose film credits include Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Denzel Washington’s Fences, and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. He can currently be seen in the highly acclaimed film, Causeway, directed by Lila Neugebauer. Henderson is a Fox Foundation Fellow and a Master Teacher for The Lunt-Fontanne Ten Chimneys Fellowship Program.

Playwrights’ Sidewalk – Ntozake Shange
Ntozake Shange, author of 36 published works, is increasingly recognized as one of America’s greatest writers having, for 50 years, embodied the struggle of women of color for equality and the recognition of their contribution to human culture. Shange’s literary legacy, preserved in the Shange Institute at Barnard College, comprises 13 plays, seven novels, six children’s books and 19 poetry collections, the majority of which are published and in print. Her 1974 “choreo-poem”, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow Is enuf, retains its title as the longest-running play by an African American writer in Broadway history. The 2022 Broadway revival of for colored girls garnered seven TONY Award nominations. She is posthumously inducted into both the NY State Writer’s Association and the Off-Broadway Alliance Halls of Fame, where her legacy endures as one of the most cherished Black feminist writers of our time.

Body of Work – A.R.T./New York
From its founding nearly 50 years ago in 1972 by a small collective to promote community and collaboration across a budding non-profit theatrical field, A.R.T./New York has become an essential pillar of a diverse member community of 475+ theatres and 150 individual producer and artist members. At its core, A.R.T./New York is the single membership organization serving the full breadth of New York’s not- for-profit theatre community. A.R.T./New York has earned a reputation as a leader in providing impactful services to its members over five decades – from educational resources and financial support to space rentals and systems change advocacy.

2023 Key Lortel Awards Dates
April 1, 2022 – 2022 – ’23 Off-Broadway Season

March 31, 2023

Wednesday, April 5 38th Annual Lortel Award Nominations Announced

Sunday, May 7 38th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards

The Off-Broadway League’s Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Tisa Chang, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Danielle Karliner Naish, Kenneth Naanep, Ralph Peña, Catherine Russell, Lindsey Sag, and Casey York) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, Alana Canty-Samuel, Maura Le Viness, and Karla Liriano) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman returns to direct the Lortel Awards for the twelfth consecutive year. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence in Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. Awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Performer in a Play and Musical, Featured Performer in a Play and Musical, Ensemble, Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement Award, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award, and induction onto the Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see

The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres (productions in Manhattan in venues with 76-499 seats), to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as a collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals. In the recent years the League has grown to represent an average of 150 individual members and theatres and 100 non-for-profit and commercial shows per season.

The Lucille Lortel Theatre’s mission is to foster both new and established artists, increase awareness and appreciation of Off-Broadway, and uphold fair and equitable business and artistic practices in service of creating a larger, more diverse community of theatre makers and audiences. The Theatre recently produced Four Saints in Three Acts, performed by David Greenspan, and co-produced Kate Berlant’s sold-out one woman show Kate, both New York Times Critic’s Picks. Its programs include NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship, Fellowships in Theatre at Bennington College, The Lortel Theatre Music Theatre Lab: Immigrant Experiences at The New School, Lucille Lortel Awards and Playwrights’ Sidewalk, Live at The Lortel (a video interview and podcast series), Internet Off-Broadway Database (, Non-Profit Theatre Strategic and Management Services, and Subsidized Theatre Space. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. We fulfill our mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts.

We are known for our theatregoing programs, including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership program; Accessibility programs (including open captioning, audio description, Autism Friendly Performances and the Veterans Theatregoing Program), Education & Community Engagement programs (serving more than 12,000 New York City students annually and thousands of underserved individuals), as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs. During the COVID-19 theatre shutdown, we continued to serve our constituents by creating virtual adaptations of our programs via Zoom and other streaming platforms. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @tdfnyc.

NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work, and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 800-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators, and thinkers and presents ground-breaking events ranging from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film. NYU Skirball’s unique position within New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates, and journalists.

Supporting a life in the arts, The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. Since 1882, the Fund has sought to ensure stability, encourage resiliency and be a safety net for those who shape our country’s cultural vibrancy. Learn more at

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