The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play was first awarded at the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since. Before the 21st Drama Desk Awards, acting awards were given without making distinctions between roles in straight dramas as opposed to musicals, nor were there separate categories for actors and actresses. The Drama Desk Award is unique in that it recognizes performances from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and beyond.
† - indicates the performance won the Tony Award
‡ - indicates the performance was also nominated for the Tony Award