Drama Desk Award
for Outstanding Director
Awarded forOutstanding Director of a Musical
LocationNew York City
CountryUnited States
Presented byDrama Desk
First awarded1975
Currently held byThomas Kail for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2023)
Websitedramadesk.org (defunct)

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical is an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in theatre across collective Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions in New York City. The awards were established in 1955, with the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director being presented each year to a director from any play or musical production. Starting in 1975, the singular director's award was replaced by separate play and musical categories.

Winners and nominees


Year Director Production
Arthur Laurents Gypsy
Geoffrey Holder The Wiz
Sue Lawless In Gay Company
William Martin The Lieutenant
Joel Zwick Dance with Me
Michael Bennett A Chorus Line
Jerry Adler My Fair Lady
Richard Foreman The Threepenny Opera
Gerald Freedman The Robber Bridegroom
Harold Prince Pacific Overtures
Martin Charnin Annie
Gerald Freedman The Robber Bridegroom
Jack O'Brien Porgy and Bess
Gene Saks I Love My Wife
Tommy Tune The Club
Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Stephen Schwartz Working
Elizabeth Swados Runaways
Harold Prince Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Michael Bennett Ballroom


Year Director Production
Harold Prince Evita
Walton Jones 1940's Radio Hour
Joe Layton Barnum
Gary Pearle Tintypes
Wilford Leach The Pirates of Penzance
Arthur Faria Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
Tommy Tune Nine
Michael Bennett Dreamgirls
Tony Tanner Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
George Abbott On Your Toes
Howard Ashman Little Shop of Horrors
James Lapine Sunday in the Park with George
A.J. Antoon The Rink
Jacques Levy Doonesbury
Wilford Leach The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Andre Ernotte Goblin Market
Bob Fosse Big Deal
Sweet Charity
Paul Lazarus Personals
Mike Ockrent Me and My Girl
Barry Harman Olympus on My Mind
Harold Prince The Phantom of the Opera
James Lapine Into the Woods
Harold Prince Cabaret
Jerry Zaks Anything Goes


Year Director Production
Tommy Tune Grand Hotel
Michael Blakemore City of Angels
James Hammerstein The Sound of Music
Scott Ellis And the World Goes 'Round
A Little Night Music
Lisa Peterson The Waves
Susan H. Schulman The Secret Garden
Jerry Zaks Assassins
Jerry Zaks Guys and Dolls
Gerald Gutierrez The Most Happy Fella
Mike Ockrent Crazy for You
George C. Wolfe Jelly's Last Jam
Des McAnuff The Who's Tommy
Michael Leeds Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh
Michael Maggio Wings
Joel Paley Ruthless!
Nicholas Hytner Carousel
Graciela Daniele Hello Again
Scott Ellis She Loves Me
Andre Gilbert Ernotte Christina Alberta's Father
James Lapine Passion
Harold Prince Show Boat
Christopher Ashley Das Barbecü
Michael Mayer America Dreaming
Trevor Nunn Sunset Boulevard
Christopher Renshaw The King and I
Graciela Daniele Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Andre Gilbert Ernotte Bed and Sofa
Michael Greif Rent
Tina Landau Floyd Collins
George C. Wolfe Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk
Walter Bobbie Chicago
Michael Blakemore The Life
Scott Ellis Steel Pier
Susan H. Schulman Violet
Mark Waldrop Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly
Julie Taymor The Lion King
Scott Ellis 1776
Frank Galati Ragtime
Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall Cabaret
Matthew Bourne Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
Graciela Daniele A New Brain
Richard Maltby, Jr. and Ann Reinking Fosse
Michael Mayer You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Harold Prince Parade


Year Director Production
Michael Blakemore Kiss Me, Kate
Gabriel Barre The Wild Party
Susan Stroman Contact
The Music Man
Susan Stroman The Producers
Christopher Ashley The Rocky Horror Show
Wilfredo Medina The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
Jack O'Brien The Full Monty
John Rando Urinetown
Scott Schwartz Bat Boy: The Musical
Michael Mayer Thoroughly Modern Millie
Nicholas Hytner Sweet Smell of Success
James Lapine Into the Woods
Trevor Nunn Oklahoma!
Scott Schwartz Tick, Tick... Boom!
George C. Wolfe Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
Jack O'Brien Hairspray
James Lapine Amour
David Leveaux Nine
Baz Luhrmann La bohème
Joe Mantello A Man of No Importance
Twyla Tharp Movin' Out
Joe Mantello Wicked
Jeff Calhoun Big River
Pamela Hunt The Musical of Musicals: The Musical
Joe Mantello Assassins
Kathleen Marshall Wonderful Town
George C. Wolfe Caroline, or Change
James Lapine The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Matthew Bourne Play Without Words
Jack Cummings III The Audience
Mark Dornford-May The Mysteries
Mike Nichols Spamalot
Bartlett Sher The Light in the Piazza
John Doyle Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Michael Greif Grey Gardens
Daniel Finzi Pasca Rain
Des McAnuff Jersey Boys
Casey Nicholaw The Drowsy Chaperone
Kathleen Marshall The Pajama Game
Michael Mayer Spring Awakening
John Doyle Company
Thomas Kail In the Heights
Jerry Mitchell Legally Blonde
Harold Prince LoveMusik
Alex Timbers Gutenberg! The Musical!
Bartlett Sher South Pacific
Christopher Ashley Xanadu
Sam Buntrock Sunday in the Park with George
David Cromer Adding Machine
John Doyle A Catered Affair
Bob McGrath The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Stephen Daldry Billy Elliot the Musical
Walter Bobbie Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Joe Mantello 9 to 5
Jason Moore Shrek the Musical
Diane Paulus Hair
Stuart Ross Enter Laughing the Musical


Year Director Production
Michael Mayer American Idiot
Warren Carlyle Finian's Rainbow
Marcia Milgrom Dodge Ragtime
Igor Goldin Yank!
Terry Johnson La Cage aux Folles
Susan Stroman The Scottsboro Boys
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker The Book of Mormon
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joe Calarco In Transit
Jack Cummings III Hello Again
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
John Tiffany Once
Christopher Ashley Leap of Faith
Jack Cummings III Queen of the Mist
Doug Hughes Death Takes a Holiday
Kathleen Marshall Nice Work If You Can Get It
Eric Schaeffer Follies
Diane Paulus Pippin
Andy Blankenbuehler Bring It On: The Musical
Rachel Chavkin Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
John Doyle Passion
Emma Rice The Wild Bride
Alex Timbers Here Lies Love
Matthew Warchus Matilda the Musical
Darko Tresnjak A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Sam Gold Fun Home
Michael Mayer Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Bartlett Sher The Bridges of Madison County
Susan Stroman Bullets Over Broadway The Musical
Alex Timbers Rocky the Musical
Thomas Kail Hamilton
Carolyn Cantor Fly By Night
Bill Condon Side Show
John Doyle The Visit
Casey Nicholaw Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon An American in Paris
John Doyle The Color Purple
Bartlett Sher Fiddler on the Roof
Michael Arden Spring Awakening
Rupert Goold American Psycho
Bryna Wasserman and Motl Didner The Golden Bride
Rachel Chavkin Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
David Cromer The Band's Visit
Christopher Ashley Come from Away
Bill Buckhurst Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Jerry Zaks Hello, Dolly!
Tina Landau SpongeBob SquarePants
Christian Barry Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
Teddy Bergman KPOP
Jack O'Brien Carousel
Bartlett Sher My Fair Lady
Rachel Chavkin Hadestown
Noah Brody Merrily We Roll Along
Scott Ellis Tootsie
Daniel Fish Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
Joel Grey Fiddler on the Roof


Year Director Production
Stephen Brackett A Strange Loop
Thomas Kail The Wrong Man
Kathleen Marshall The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Leigh Silverman Soft Power
Annie Tippe Octet
2021 No awards: New York theatres shuttered, March 2020 to September 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City[1]
Marianne Elliott Company
John Doyle Assassins
Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage Six
Bartlett Sher Intimate Apparel
Jessica Stone Kimberly Akimbo
Thomas Kail Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Jeff Calhoun Between the Lines
John Doyle A Man of No Importance
Maria Friedman Merrily We Roll Along
Jack O'Brien Shucked

Multiple wins

See also


  1. ^ Evans, Greg (2021-05-05). "Broadway To Reopen Sept. 14, Says Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Broadway League "Cautiously Optimistic"". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2023-06-02. Retrieved 2023-12-03.