Plays

Ellie Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

Best Play

Set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, Jez Butterworth’s play The Ferryman seems to be the frontrunner. The play, which is based around a true tragedy, follows the story of one of the bodies found of the Disappeared, 16 people who were murdered by the IRA in Ireland in 1972. Heidi Shrek’s “What the Constitution Means to Me” is also a strong contender, her self-written, acted, and directed show explaining exactly what the title says, along with many more truths about the document that lays at the foundation of American Democracy.

This Is York’s Prediction: “The Ferryman”

Best Revival of a Play

Although three of the nominees for Best Revival have already closed, buzz from their performances has withstood throughout the season. I predict that the race will be between “The Waverly Gallery” and” The Boys in the Band,” two dramatically different shows that both feature all star casts. “The Waverly Gallery” is centered around grandmother Gladys (played by legendary improv comedian Elaine May) and her family’s response to the deterioration of her mind, also featuring performances by Lucas Hedges and Michael Cera. “The Boys in the Band” holds a special appeal, with a Netflix movie featuring all of the Broadway revival cast officially set on the horizons. The play, which starred Matt Bomer (“White Collar”), Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), and Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek”), is an ensemble show that centers around a group of gay men who gather for a friend’s birthday party. Drama ensues.

This Is York’s Prediction: “The Boys in the Band”

Best Direction of a Play

“The Ferryman” director Sam Mendes has already won an Olivier for the show’s West End run, and will likely earn a Tony as Well. Along with his work in the theater, he is more widely known for the two most recent Bond movies, “Skyfall” and “Spectre”. 

This Is York’s Prediction: Sam Mendes, “The Ferryman”

Best Leading Actor in a Play

In an extremely stacked category, I’m voting with my heart for Adam Driver. Driver, who stars in the revival of Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This”, is explosive onstage, leading the production with strength, vulnerability, and an ability to draw a unique character out of classic material. Along with Driver are Bryan Cranston, Jeff Daniels, and newcomer Jeremy Pope, who is double nominated at the ceremony for his two shows this season.

This Is York’s Prediction: Adam Driver, “Burn This”

Best Leading Actress in a Play

The Leading Actress Category is packed to the brim with esteemed actresses, such as legend Anette Bening and Laurie Metcalf, who took home a Tony in both 2017 and 2018 for her work in “A Doll’s House, Part 2″ and “Three Tall Women”, respectively. However, the race is looking to lean towards Elaine May, subject of “The Waverly Gallery”. I think it’s between her and Metcalf, who recently played Hillary Clinton in the topical play “Hillary and Clinton”.

This Is York’s Prediction: Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery”

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Although this is another tough category, Brandon Uranowitz is pitch perfect in “Burn This”. In a four person cast, Uranowitz is a standout with both his commitment to the period, vulnerability, and genius sense of humor. I was practically folded over in my seat the entire performance.

This Is York’s Prediction: Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Broadway darling Celia Keenan-Bolger is a talented, intelligent actress who already has three Tony nominations under her belt. Her work in the season’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” looks like it will make the fourth time the charm.

This Is York’s Prediction: Celia Keenan Bolger, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Best Scenic Design of a Play

In “Ink”, a play that travelled overseas this year after being nominated for a Olivier award in 2017, the scenic and lighting design take center stage, bringing audiences into the complicated world of The Sun. The stage features vintage filing cabinets and other office furniture piled into a looming stack of newspaper extravagance, the lighting highlighting the many faces and headlines of the media.

This Is York’s Prediction: Bunny Christie, “Ink”

Best Costume Design of a Play

Although many of the nominees in this category were given nods for their period costumes, Toni-Leslie James’ costumes for “Bernhardt/Hamlet” is a standout. The costumes help leading lady Sarah Bernhardt, played by Janet McTeer, embrace both masculinity and femininity in Theresa Rebeck’s show about gender, Shakespeare, and finding your voice in art.  

This Is York’s Prediction: Toni-Leslie James, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”

Best Lighting Design of a Play

(See Scenic Design above)

This Is York’s Prediction: Neil Austin, “Ink”

Best Sound Design in a Play

As we move down the list, we move farther into “Categories Ellie Knows Nothing About,” and although I’ve sort of improvised so far, I honestly have no clue about Sound Design. Maybe “The Ferryman” because it looks like it is poised to sweep? Sure, why not?

This Is York’s Prediction: *emoji with the guy shrugging*