Ovation Awards

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Ovation Awards
Awarded forExcellence in Southern California theatre
CountryUnited States
First awarded1989

The Ovation Awards are a Southern California award for excellence in theatre,[1] established in 1989.[2] They are given out by the non-profit arts service organization LA Stage Alliance and are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles. Winners are selected by a voting committee of Los Angeles area theater professionals who are selected through an application process every year.[3] The Ovation Awards ceremony has been held at different theatres throughout the Los Angeles area, including the Ahmanson Theatre and the Orpheum Theatre.[4] Hosts for the ceremonies have included Nathan Lane,[5] Lily Tomlin,[6] and Neil Patrick Harris.[7]


  • The producer(s) must be a qualifying member of LA Stage Alliance.
  • Productions must meet one or more of the following requirements: Include a director who is a full member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC), a designer who is a full member of United Scenic Artists (USA), or an actor who is a full member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA), or the producer(s) has previously produced an Ovation Award nominated production in the previous three seasons.
  • In addition, eligible productions must meet the minimum number of performances, currently ten for intimate theatres and six for larger theatres.
  • Productions in venues with more than 100 seats which include no members of any theatrical union, and those produced by companies that are currently involved in a union labor strike are ineligible.[citation needed]



  • Musical – Large Theatre
  • Musical – Intimate Theatre (Franklin R. Levy Award)
  • Play – Large Theatre
  • Play – Intimate Theatre
  • Touring Production


  • Lead Actress in a Musical
  • Lead Actor in a Musical
  • Featured Actress in a Musical
  • Featured Actor in a Musical
  • Lead Actress in a Play
  • Lead Actor in a Play
  • Featured Actress in a Play
  • Featured Actor in a Play
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Solo Performance (Ray Stricklyn Memorial Award)


  • Direction of a Musical
  • Direction of a Play
  • Choreography
  • Music Direction
  • Set Design – Large Theatre
  • Set Design – Intimate Theatre
  • Lighting Design – Large Theatre
  • Lighting Design – Intimate Theatre
  • Sound Design – Large Theatre
  • Sound Design – Intimate Theatre
  • Costume Design – Large Theatre
  • Costume Design – Intimate Theatre


  • Playwriting of an Original Play
  • Books/Lyrics/Music for an Original Musical

Ceremony mistake[edit]

During the 2021 Ovation Awards ceremony, actress Jully Lee's first name was mispronounced and she was misidentified with a photograph of a different Asian American actress. In response, several participating theatre companies revoked their membership in the LA Stage Alliance, citing the organization's disenfranchisement of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as well as people of color (BIPOC) from the Los Angeles theatre community.[8]

Lists of winners[edit]


  1. ^ Ng, David (November 2, 2014). "Ovation Awards go to Fountain Theatre, 'The Country House'". The Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Willis, John; Hodges, Ben (2007). Theatre World: Volume 61. New York, NY: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-55783-685-4. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. ^ Morino, Stephanie (23 November 2016). "Time Out Los Angeles". Time Out America, LLC. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  4. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (29 September 2002). "Playbill". Playbill, Inc. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  5. ^ Sheh, Stephanie (19 November 1998). "Daily Bruin". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  6. ^ Murray, Matthew (10 November 2003). "Theatre Mania". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  7. ^ Fung, Lisa (11 January 2009). "Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Theatre Companies Revoke LA Stage Alliance Membership After Asian Nominee is Misidentified at the Ovation Awards". Broadway World. April 1, 2021.

External links[edit]