Home  |   FAQ  | Related Links |  Press Room & News  |  contact us
Jeff Recommended Shows
Now Playing
no longer playing
Nominees & Recipients
Jeff Awards History, Eligibility and Judging Mechanics
Jeff Committee Members
Search Archives of Past Awards




Chicago theatre greats Deanna Dunagan and Mike Nussbaum will announce the nominations for the 48th Annual Joseph Jefferson Awards, recognizing excellence in Chicago theatre, on a video to be released Tuesday, August 30.

Ms. Dunagun and Mr. Nussbaum often have graced the Jeff Awards ceremonies as nominees and recipients during the course of their illustrious careers.

The nominations they will announce are for productions from 58 Chicago-area producing organizations that have contracts with Actors' Equity Association.  To be eligible, a production must have opened between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016.

The 48th Annual Jeff Awards Equity ceremony honoring excellence in Chicago theatre will be held on Monday, October 17, at Drury Lane  Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The public is cordinally invited. Tickets will be available on this website after nominations have been announced.

read more



See the complete list of award recipients and the press release with further details.

Click here to link to Johnny Knight's gallery of photos from the Non-Equity Awards.

The Hairy Ape- Eugene O’Neill’s expressionist play presented in a stark and imaginative setting; Byhalia, Mississippi- a new work of southern love and forgiveness, and Rent- the musical update of  La Boheme performed in a small storefront theatre, took home the most awards on Monday, June 6, at Park West during the 43rd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre. 


Griffin Theatre Company’s London Wall, a play about women in a London law firm in 1931, took top honors for Production-Play; Rent, performed by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, received the Jeff Award for Production-Musical or Revue; and two productions tied for the coveted Ensemble Award: Steep Theatre Company’s production of  Posh, a story of a night of debauchery by Oxford prep school boys, and Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys, a vaudeville-type telling of the infamous case of nine African-American teenagers falsely accused of assaulting two white Alabama women, produced by Raven Theatre.


Byhalia, Mississippi performed by The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company, received Jeff Awards for Actress in a Supporting Role-Play (Cecelia Wingate), Scenic Design (John Wilson) and New Work (Evan Linder). Oracle Theatre’s The Hairy Ape received awards for Actor in a Principal Role-Play (Julian Parker), Sound Design (Jeffrey Levin) and Artistic Specialization (Breon Arzell for his step design). Rent was honored for Production-Musical or Revue, Direction of a Musical or Revue (Scott Weinstein), Music Direction (Jeremy Ramey) and Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical or Revue (Aubrey McGrath). Robin Witt received the award for Direction - Play for her work on London Wall at Griffin Theatre Company.


For the third consecutive year, the annual awards gala sold out with almost 700 guests, and featured musical production numbers from the season's nominated musicals and revue, as well as excerpts from the season's nominated plays.  Long-time Chicago actors Karl Hamilton and Sarah Hayes returned as emcees for the award show. Brenda Didier directed Monday's ceremony, with musical direction provided by Jimmy Morehead. John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Committee, produced the event.  

David Liesse, Chair of the 55-member Jeff Awards Committee, welcomed the audience and presented this year's Special Jeff Award honoring director Kimberly Senior for her efforts as a mentor to emerging directors and her advocacy in helping to promote the careers of fellow artists. 



See the complete list of recipients and the press release for all the details

Photos from the 47th Annual Jeff Awards:  by Johnny Knight.  See photos here.

Two theatres in their first year of Equity eligibility received the most awards at the gala 47th Annual Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook on Monday, October 5, which celebrated a season of outstanding productions.  The Hypocrites earned six awards, including Production-Play for a midsize theatre,  for All Our Tragican epic 12-hour adaptation of the 32 surviving Greek tragedies.   Paramount Theatre, in its first year of eligibility, scored five large tier Equity awards, including the statue for Production-Musical for Les Misérables.

Another multi-award winner, including the award for Production-Play for a large theatre, was Moby Dick, the saga of the legendary great white whale, created with aerial acrobatics and produced by Lookingglass Theatre Company and The Actors Gymnasium, 

Production-Musical for a midsize theatre was awarded to The Addams Family, which had an extended run at Mercury Theater Chicago.

Principal acting honors went to Kate Fry as Rosemary Muldoon in Outside Mullingar at Northlight Theatre and Jerod Haynes as Bigger in Native Son at Court Theatre, produced with American Blues Theater.  Awards for principal acting in musicals went to Heidi Kettenring as Anna in The King and I at Marriott Theatre and Nicholas Dantes as Young Billy in Billy Elliot, the Musical at Drury Lane.

In the revue categories, Porchlight Music Theatre’s Sondheim on Sondheim received nods for Production-Revue, for Director Nick Bowling, and for Music Director Austin Cook. CoryGoodrich took home the Actor or Actress in a Revue award for Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash, a co-production of Mercury Theater Chicago and Theatre at the Center whose six-month run continues through November 1. 

The Jeff Awards 2015 Equity Special Award was presented to actors Paula Scrofano and John Reeger in recognition of their theatrical career contributions to the Chicago theatre scene over the past five decades. 

The capacity audience enjoyed live performances from all nominated musicals and revues and video performances from nominated plays.  The Equity Awards ceremony was directed by Michael Weber, with music direction by Linda Madonia and stage management by Colleen Tovar.  Merril Prager, Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Awards Committee, served as producer for the evening. Performers Cheryl Lynn Bruce and E. Faye Butler emceed the event.  Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a lavish Drury Lane buffet and dancing.







Actor Michael Shannon did the honor of announcing the nominees for the 2014-2015 Equity Jeff Awards.     View the complete list of nominees and the press release for all the details.   During the taping, Jeff Awards Committee Chair Diane Hires had a chance to interview Michael Shannon about his experience with Chicago theatre as well his other stage, TV and film roles.  



Join us on  twitter  facebook
Now Playing
Equity Wing | see complete list
The Greenhouse Theater Center and Ingenious Purpose Ltd.

A Red Line Runs Through It
The Second City e.t.c.

Non-Equity Wing | see complete list
good friday
Kristiana Rae Colon and Tara Branham in collaboration with Oracle Productions

The Promise of a Rose Garden
Babes With Blades

Tomorrow Morning
Kokandy Productions

Kimberly Senior to Receive Special Non-Equity Jeff Award

Jeff Committee Hosts Panel on Directing Comedy

Jeff Awards to Combine New Plays - New Adaptations Categories

"Jeff Recommended" indicates that at least one element of a show was deemed excellent by opening night judges. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee celebrates the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors. The committee fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community.

Help us in our work of fostering high-quality Chicagoland theatre by making a tax-deductible donation. The Jeff Awards is a registered 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.