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Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics announce inaugural theater awards

The inaugural honors will celebrate both mainstream and LGBTQ-themed Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Antonio Banderas proudly holds his Dorian Award for best film performance (forPain and Glory”) at GALECA’s 2020 honors in Los Angeles (Credit: Brandon Riley Miller)

GALECA, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, will recognize Broadway and Off-Broadway productions with the new Dorian Theater Awards. The inaugural honors will celebrate both mainstream and LGBTQ-themed productions, beginning with shows in the 2022-2023 season.

GALECA recently launched a theater wing that includes 31 stage critics and journalists, in addition to the group’s established film and television divisions.

The organization’s theater wing is co-chaired by Gold Derby contributor Sam Eckmann and QueerForty editor-in-chief Merryn Johns.

Theater wing members will be able to cast votes to choose winners from May 22 to May 29. Winners and finalists will be announced on June 1 at the start of Pride Month. Each category will have one winner and two finalists.

Though GALECA is an LGBTQ organization, productions and performances will not be judged for representation. GALECA’s theater critics and theater-centric entertainment editors and journalists will assess and vote in categories based on “riveting performances, stunning musical numbers, elegiac and profound writing, thoughtful and provocative themes, on-point and exciting direction and more,” said a spokesperson. “For the LGBTQ-focused awards, the members will look at all of the above in focusing on contenders with subject matter that majorly centers on queer/trans characters and storylines and really looking at [their] quality.”

The inaugural categories include:

Outstanding Broadway Musical
Outstanding Broadway Play
Outstanding Broadway Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Broadway Revival of a Play
Outstanding Lead Performance in a Broadway Musical
Outstanding Lead Performance in a Broadway Play
Outstanding Featured Performance in a Broadway Musical
Outstanding Featured Performance in a Broadway Play
Outstanding LGBTQ Broadway Production
Outstanding Broadway Ensemble
The Broadway Showstopper Award (to a standout production number or scene)
LGBTQIA+ Theater Trailblazer Award
Outstanding Off-Broadway Production
Outstanding Off-Broadway Performance

In addition to Johns and Eckmann, members of the theater wing include Marshall Heyman, Cary Wong, Frank J. Avella, Kerensa Cadenas, Chris Carpenter, Murtada Elfadl, Adam Feldman, Brian Herrera, James Kleinmann, Naveen Kumar, Stacy Lambe, Brian Scott Lipton, Soraya McDonald, Charles O’Keefe, Dan Meyer, Abby Monteil, Michael Musto, Louis Peitzman, Juan Michael Porter II, Juan A. Ramirez, Mathew Rodriguez, Nathaniel Rogers, Gillian Russo, Michael Schulman, Tim Teeman, Kyle Turner, Lindsey Weber, Abbey White and Curtis Wong.

"The 2022-2023 theater season features a bold crop of plays and musicals which empower all kinds of audience members, no matter their identity,” said Eckmann in a statement. "As the industry continues to elevate diversity and queerness, I can think of no better time to expand the Dorian Awards to the stage. The LGBTQ community has long been a champion of the theater, and we will have plenty to cheer about this Pride Month as we celebrate the best that Broadway and Off-Broadway has to offer.”

As a nonprofit organization with more than 450 members, GALECA supports journalists while putting a “Q+ eye” on the entertainment industry. It was founded as the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association in 2009, but rebranded in 2017 to achieve greater inclusivity.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Frank J. Avella. This has been corrected.