The Annual Toby Awards since 1997. Celebrating theatrical excellence and impact to society

The Toby Awards have been celebrating theatrical excellence since 1997, promoting special recognition, irrespective of function, genre or geographic location within the global performing arts community based on individual impact to society.

  Toby Awards Comedy/Tragedy emoticon
2022 Toby Awards Honorees

Under the backdrop of the Russian invasion into the Ukraine which continues to escalate and claim lives — a terrible tragedy for both Ukrainians and Russians, bringing great loss of human life, threatening both economies and security, and leading Russia to complete international isolation, two honors are bestowed:

View the Toby Awards TrophyELENA KOVALSKAYA (Елена Ковальская) for her Outstanding International Courage. Previously the Director of Moscow’s Vsevolod Meyerhold State Theater and Cultural Center who at the very outbreak of the invasion of the sovereign country of the Ukraine in February 2022, without regard for her personal safety, resigned her high-profile Russian state position in protest of Putin’s invasion in Ukraine. Toby Awards Trophy 2022 ELENA KOVALSKAYAShe was quoted as saying “Friends, in protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I’m resigning”. She continued, “It’s impossible to work for a murderer and collect a salary from him.” She now teaches history of foreign theatre at the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts and directs its social theatre master’s program.
Facebook.com/elena.kovalskaya

and

View the Toby Awards TrophyDAVID FOSTER for his Outstanding Commitment to Humanity. Now based in Bali, Indonesia, David had a long career as a sought-after Production Stage Manager of Broadway shows, within the USA and touring globally such as Les Misérables, Annie Get Your Gun, Sunset Boulevard, The Who’s Tommy and Anything Goes, and for Radio City Music Hall, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Madison Square Garden Productions and Drei Hasselnüsse für Aschenbrödel. Toby Awards Trophy 2022 DAVID FOSTERIn 2022 his undertaking, at his own considerable cost and risk, to volunteer for World Central Kitchen on the Poland-Ukraine border in Przemyśl for nearly 2 months assisting refugees fleeing the Ukraine is indicative of his selfless support of the humanitarian crisis on the edge of a war zone.
Facebook.com/AmbassadorDave

Toby Awards

December 26, 2022

ANNOUNCING THE 2022 TOBY AWARDS

The Toby Awards have been celebrating theatrical excellence since 1997, promoting special recognition, irrespective of function, genre or geographic location within the global performing arts community based on individual impact to society.

Under the backdrop of the Russian invasion into the Ukraine which continues to escalate and claim lives — a terrible tragedy for both Ukrainians and Russians, bringing great loss of human life, threatening both economies and security, and leading Russia to complete international isolation, today, two 2022 Toby Awards honors are bestowed upon:

Toby Awards Trophy 2022 ELENA KOVALSKAYA www circleELENA KOVALSKAYA (Елена Ковальская) for her Outstanding International Courage. Previously the Director of Moscow’s Vsevolod Meyerhold State Theater and Cultural Center who at the very outbreak of the invasion of the sovereign country of the Ukraine in February 2022, without regard for her personal safety, resigned her high-profile Russian state position in protest of Putin’s invasion in Ukraine. She was quoted as saying “Friends, in protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I’m resigning”. She continued, “It’s impossible to work for a murderer and collect a salary from him.” She now teaches history of foreign theatre at the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts and directs its social theatre master’s program.
https://www.facebook.com/elena.kovalskaya

and

Toby Awards Trophy 2022 DAVID FOSTER www circleDAVID FOSTER for his Outstanding Commitment to Humanity. Now based in Bali, Indonesia, David had a long career as a sought-after Production Stage Manager of Broadway shows, within the USA and touring globally such as Les Misérables, Annie Get Your Gun, Sunset Boulevard, The Who’s Tommy and Anything Goes, and for Radio City Music Hall, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Madison Square Garden Productions and Drei Hasselnüsse für Aschenbrödel. In 2022 his undertaking, at his own considerable cost and risk, to volunteer for World Central Kitchen on the Poland-Ukraine border in Przemyśl for nearly 2 months assisting refugees fleeing the Ukraine is indicative of his selfless support of the humanitarian crisis on the edge of a war zone.
https://www.facebook.com/AmbassadorDave

Both Ms Kovalskaya and Mr. Foster join an elite club, not only as shining examples of humanitarian leadership, but currently with only 51 theatrical awards having been bestowed since 1997. The awards are unique since they recognize individuals that typically would be overlooked by other global performing arts awards which have narrowly defined categories.

Throughout its 24-year history, awards have been presented at the end of each calendar year, except for 2020. Previous recipients include an eclectic mix of theatre creatives, performers, musicians, journalists, production, stage and general managers, marketing and public relations experts, logistics and production crew and more, each consistently showcasing theatrical excellence coupled with social, moral or ethical responsibility beyond their employment, coming from around the world such as Australia, Europe, UK, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Cuba, Argentina, Philippines, China, Russia, Poland, Indonesia and the USA.

For details, see:
https://TobySimkin.com/TobyAwards/ 

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  Press contact: Toby Awards: theatrical@me.com

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The annual Toby Awards are unique since they provide an opportunity to celebrate theatrical excellence recognizing individuals that typically would be overlooked by other global performing arts awards.  Recipients have made a significant impact on either a particular show or the performing arts community at a regional, national, or international level while going above and beyond with social, moral or ethical commitment.

Past Recipients

2022

Elena Kovalskaya

Outstanding International Courage.
[Press Release]

2022

David Foster

Outstanding Commitment to Humanity.
[Press Release]

2021

Gregory Gesch

Outstanding ongoing commitment to the Australian theatre community.
[Press Release]

2021

Glenn Weiss

Outstanding producing & direction in the preservation of the arts on film & TV.
[Press Release]

2020

No award granted

2019

José Campos

Outstanding presentation and development of live theatre in São Paulo, Brasil.

2019

Dame Penelope Keith

Fabulous career actress and charitable leadership of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund.

2018

Katrina Lenska

Spectacular fundraising for The Performers Retirement Collective throughout Eastern Europe.

2018

Tony Walton

Outstanding career in scenic and costume design on Broadway and beyond.

2017

John Kander

Dedicated military service in China and a lifetime of excellence composing musical theatre.

2017

Bette Midler

Outstanding musical actress and fabulous charitable leadership with her New York Restoration Project.

2016

Alan Wasser

Lifetime achievement in General & Charitable Management on Broadway and beyond.

2016

John Iacovelli

Astonishing Scenic & Production Design in both the Broadway and film industries

2015

Donna McKechnie

Lifetime of astonishing performing arts excellence with commitment to preserving history.

2014

Xu Feng Lou

Outstanding attitude, care and maintenance in Lintong, Xi’an within extremely difficult conditions.

2014

Chita Rivera

A lifetime of commitment to performing arts excellence and promotion of Puerto Rican talents.

2013

Keith Sherman

Lifetime of dedication to public relations of live entertainment.

2013

Fatih Osmançelebioğlu

Dedication to the success of the Istanbul, Turkey live entertainment market.

2012

Ryan Chen You Kang

Best newcomer, both as writer and film director within China & commitment to Children’s charities.

2012

Faith Prince

Lifetime of excellence leading the Broadway stage.

2011

Bobby Garcia

Astonishing development of the Asian theatre markets in Manila and Singapore.

2011

Alicia Alonso

Outstanding trailblazing career as a Cuban prima ballerina and choreographer.

2010

Zhu LilyYing

Outstanding global logistics support by Rock it Cargo in Seoul & Singapore.

2009

David da Silva

Devotion to the preservation and promotion of his musical FAME.

2009

Anthony Warlow AM

Continuing excellence in leading the Australian stage.

2008

David Richenthal

Outstanding West End and Broadway producer with emphasis on literary history.

2008

Ann Reinking

A lifetime of excellence in dance, choreography and her nurturing of dancers.

2007

Michael Duff

Substantial support of orchestral musicians excellence throughout the world.

2007

Michael Riedel

Continued excellence in theatre journalism, on Broadway and beyond.

2006

Frank P. Scardino

Outstanding Canadian Executive Producer and General Manager.

2006

Randy Weeks

Outstanding leadership at the Denver Centre promoting national touring musicals.

2005

Sergio Trujillo

Outstanding choreography for Broadway’s ALL SHOOK UP.

2005

Brian Dennehy

Outstanding lifetime achievement as a dramatic actor.

2004

Drew Hodges

Excellence in promoting the Broadway community and majority of its shows as founder of Spotco.

2004

Manny Kladitis

An astonishing lifetime career as a Broadway General Manager & Producer.

2004

Billy Porter

Outstanding newcomer in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.

2003

Tara Murphy

Outstanding Atlanta promotions of developing new works with 360 Media.

2003

Stella Chitty OBE

Outstanding 47-year career in Stage Management with the Royal Opera House, London

2002

Jim D’Amico

Visionary risk-taking leadership at Celebrity Cruises bringing Broadway to the oceans.

2002

Jerome Vivona

Astonishing concept, direction and choreography of the #1 audience favorite SPOTLIGHT BROADWAY.

2001

Jody J. Abrahams,
Loukmaan Adams,
Junaid Booysen,
Terry Hector,
Alistair Izobell
& Kim Louis

Outstanding performance of KAT AND THE KINGS, breaking the mould of traditional musical theatre.

2001

Cristyne Nicholas

For contributions in leading the Broadway community out of 9/11 with NYC & Company.

2001

Harriet Slaughter

Outstanding achievement in labor relations between Broadway producers and all theatrical unions.

2000

Carol Channing

Outstanding support of the North American touring markets for musical theatre.

2000

Arthur Siccardi

Excellence in ongoing effective Production Management of live entertainment.

2000 (theatre.com people’s choice)

Theatre lovers cast 4785 votes in the TOBY awards, which recognize the best on Broadway in 36 categories during the 1999-2000 season, which ended May 31. In addition to traditional award categories, TOBY awards are given in categories that can be even more meaningful for theatregoing audiences. Votes were tallied electronically from May 17 to May 31, 2000, and covered Broadway shows that opened between June 1, 1999 and May 31, 2000. Full Press Release.

BEST NEW MUSICAL: Aida
BEST NEW PLAY: Copenhagen
BEST REVUE: Swing!
BEST COMEDY: Dame Edna: The Royal Tour
BEST SOLO SHOW OR CONCERT: Dame Edna: The Royal Tour
BEST EXPERIMENTAL PIECE: The Green Bird
BEST REVIVAL OF A DRAMA: The Real Thing
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: Kiss Me, Kate
BEST SHOW FOR KIDS: The Music Man
BEST SHOW FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION (DATE, ANNIVERSARY, ETC.): Swing!
BEST SHOW FROM A PREVIOUS SEASON HOLDING UP THE BEST: Chicago
BEST OFF-BROADWAY TRANSFER TO BROADWAY Contact
BEST IMPORTED SHOW: Copenhagen
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMARY ROLE (MUSICAL): Heather Headley (Aida), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate), Craig Bierko (The Music Man) and Rebecca Luker (The Music Man)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMARY ROLE (PLAY): Kristin Chenoweth (Epic Proportions), Stephen Dillane (The Real Thing), Philip Seymour Hoffman (True West), Cherry Jones (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
BEST DUO: Lee Wilkof and Michael Mulheren in Kiss Me, Kate
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SECONDARY ROLE (MUSICAL): Michael Berresse (Kiss Me, Kate), Michael Mulheren (Kiss Me, Kate), Amy Spanger (Kiss Me, Kate), (tie:) Sherie Rene Scott (Aida), Tony Vincent (Jesus Christ Superstar)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SECONDARY ROLE (PLAY): Roy Dotrice (A Moon for the Misbegotten), Jennifer Ehle (The Real Thing), Harris Yulin (The Price), Ruth Williamson (Epic Proportions)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A REPLACEMENT ACTOR: Sandy Duncan (Chicago)
COOLEST CAT ON BROADWAY: Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate)
BEST ORIGINAL BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Aida by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang
BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC: Aida by Elton John
BEST ORIGINAL LYRICS: Aida by Tim Rice
BEST CAST ALBUM: Kiss Me, Kate
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS: The Green Bird
BEST POSTER: The Music Man
BEST TV COMMERCIAL: (tie) Jesus Christ Superstar and Saturday Night Fever
SPECIAL BROADWAY-RELATED EVENT YOU MOST WISH YOU’D ATTENDED: The Tony Awards Ceremony
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Susan Stroman (Contact)
BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: Don Sebesky (Kiss Me, Kate)
BEST DIRECTOR (PLAY): Michael Blakemore (Copenhagen)
BEST DIRECTOR (MUSICAL): Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate)
BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR: David Chase (The Music Man)
BEST SET DESIGN: Robin Wagner (Kiss Me, Kate)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Constance Hoffman (The Green Bird)
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: (tie:) Paul Constable (Amadeus), Donald Holder (The Green Bird)

Read the full Press Release.

1999

Children’s Ensemble

Outstanding performance in the Broadway revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN.

1999

Margaret Styne

Excellence in maintaining public legacy of the estate of husband & composer Jule Styne.

1999

Bill Rosenfield

Nurturing the preservation of Broadway musical theatre with RCA Victor.

1998

Pichon Baldinu
& Diqui James

Outstanding production concept, writing and direction of DE LA GUARDA “VILLA VILLA”.

1998

Ruth Mitchell

Astonishing career of over 50 Broadway shows, and one of the first female stage managers.

1998

Carol Chiavetta

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Visionary achievement in the marketing, PR and promotion of the live arts.

1997

Stephanie Lawrence

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Spectacular performance in USA, Canada & UK in BLOOD BROTHERS and CATS in the West End

theatre online best of the year toby awards
The Toby Awards began in 1997 as the Theatre Online Best of the Year awards as part of BuyBroadway and then later migrated to the current annual awards

Future Nominations


TOBY SIMKINYou can nominate an individual for consideration for a Toby Award by contacting us with a brief description of why they deserve this recognition and provide a link to their social media. All submissions will be reviewed, then short listed by December 1st each year, before up to 3 recipients being chosen annually for an end of calendar year announcement.

Toby Simkin’s Broadway Entertainment, LLC
dba within China as: 沈途彬商务咨询(上海)有限公司

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