Theatre World Award is an American honor presented annually to actors and actresses in recognition of an outstanding New York City stage debut performance, either on Broadway or off-Broadway. It was first awarded for the 1945-1946 theatre season.
The inaugural recipients included
Betty Comden, Judy Holliday and John Raitt. Winners are selected by a committee of New York-based critics. That committee includes (as of May 2015)
Roma Torre (NY1), David Cote ( Time Out New York, NY1), Joe Dziemianowicz ( New York Daily News), Peter Filichia ( The Newark Star-Ledger, Emeritus), Harry Haun ( Playbill), Matthew Murray (TalkinBroadway.com), and Frank Scheck ( New York Post).
  
John Willis, founder of the Theatre World Awards and Editor of theatre bible , died in June 2010.
Known as "
Janus" after the Roman god of entrances, exits, and all beginnings, the award is a bronze sculpture designed by sculptor Harry Marinsky. 
Special honorary awards
Dorothy Loudon Starbaby Award was instituted in 2009, named in honor of actress and singer Dorothy Loudon (1925-2003) and is awarded by the Dorothy Loudon Foundation in connection with these awards. The first Starbaby Award was presented to Susan Louise O'Connor ( ). Other recipients are Blithe Spirit Bobby Steggert ( and Ragtime ) (2009-10), Yank! Seth Numrich (  ) (2010-11), War Horse and Susan Pourfar (  Tribes). In 2013, it was renamed  Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater.
The first annual Lunt-Fontanne Award for Ensemble Excellence was presented at the 2010-11 Awards, to the cast of
- The Motherf**ker with the Hat Bobby Cannavale, Chris Rock, Annabella Sciorra, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Yul Vázquez. The award is in honor of the late Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and is presented to an outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway ensemble. 
John Willis Award
A new award, the
John Willis Award, was first instituted for the 2012-13 season. It is given for "lifetime achievement in the theatre" to honor John Willis who created and maintained the Theatre World tradition for 66 years, encouraging new talent in an often challenging business." The first recipient was Alan Alda. 
The award ceremony
The winners for the 2010-11 season were announced on May 10, 2011, with a ceremony held on June 7; the awards are traditionally presented by former award winners.
The awards for the 2011-11 season were announced on May 8, 2012 and presented at a ceremony held on June 5, 2012 at the  Belasco Theatre. 
The awards for the 2012-13 season were announced on May 7, 2013, and the 69th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony was held on June 3 at the
Music Box Theater. The awards for the 2013-14 season were announced on May 6, 2014, and the ceremony was held on June 2, 2014 at Circle in the Square.  The awards for the 2014-15 season were announced on May 5, 2015; the ceremony will be held on June 1, 2015 at the Lyric Theatre.  
Past recipients, from 1944-45 to 2012-13
De'Adre Aziza, Passing Strange
Cassie Beck, Drunken City
Daniel Breaker, Passing Strange
Ben Daniels, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County
Hoon Lee, Yellow Face
Alli Mauzey, Cry-Baby
Jenna Russell, Sunday in the Park with George
Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing
Loretta Ables Sayre, South Pacific
Jimmi Simpson, The Farnsworth Invention Paulo Szot, South Pacific
David Alvarez/ Trent Kowalik/ Kiril Kulish, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Chad L. Coleman, Joe Turner's Come and Gone Jennifer Grace,
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing, The Musical
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Colin Hanks, 33 Variations
Marin Ireland, reasons to be pretty Susan Louise O'Connor,
Condola Rashad, Ruined
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story
Wesley Taylor, Rock of Ages Special Award to the entire cast of : Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter and Amanda Root. The Norman Conquests
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Chris Chalk, Fences
Bill Heck, The Orphans' Home Cycle
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts
Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge Keira Keeley,
The Glass Menagerie
Sahr Ngaujah, FELA!
Eddie Redmayne, Red
Andrea Riseborough, The Pride
Heidi Schreck, Circle Mirror Transformation
Stephanie Umoh, Ragtime Michael Urie, The Temperamentals
Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Desmin Borges, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Halley Feiffer, The House of Blue Leaves
Grace Gummer, Arcadia
Rose Hemingway, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Heather Lind, The Merchant of Venice
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart
Zachary Quinto, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Lunt-Fontanne Award for Ensemble Excellence - cast of The Motherfucker with the Hat
Tracie Bennett, End Of The Rainbow
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Crystal A. Dickinson, Clybourne Park
Russell Harvard, Tribes
Jeremy Jordan, Bonnie & Clyde Joaquina Kalukango,
Jennifer Lim, Chinglish
Jessie Mueller, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Hettienne Park, and Seminar The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
Chris Perfetti, Sons of the Prophet
Finn Wittrock, Death of a Salesman Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar
Bertie Carvel, Matilda the Musical
Carrie Coon, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Brandon J. Dirden, The Piano Lesson
Shalita Grant, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Valisia LeKae, Motown: The Musical
Rob McClure, Chaplin
Ruthie Ann Miles, Here Lies Love
Conrad Ricamora, Here Lies Love
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
Yvonne Strahovski, Golden Boy Tom Sturridge, Orphans
Carlo Albán, Sweat
Christy Altomare, Anastasia
Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
Barrett Doss, Groundhog Day
Amber Gray, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Lucas Hedges, Yen
Raymond Lee, Vietgone
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd
Cobie Smulders, Present Laughter Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater:
Katrina Lenk, Indecent and The Band's Visit John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre:
Glenn Close Special Theatre World Award: Dave Malloy for his Broadway debut in as an actor, composer, writer, lyricist, and orchestrator. Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Jamie Brewer, Amy and the Orphans
Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Johnny Flynn, Hangmen
Denise Gough, Angels in America
Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Hailey Kilgore, Once on This Island
James McArdle, Angels in America
Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants
Charlie Stemp, Hello, Dolly!
Katy Sullivan, Cost of Living Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater:
Ben Edelman, Admissions John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Victor Garber
Gbenga Akinnagbe, To Kill A Mockingbird
Tom Glynn-Carney, The Ferryman
Sophia Anne Caruso, Beetlejuice
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
James Davis, Oklahoma!
Micaela Diamond, The Cher Show
Bonnie Milligan, Head Over Heels
Simone Missick, Paradise Blue
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy
Colton Ryan, Girl from The North Country
Stephanie Styles, Kiss Me, Kate Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
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"History" theatreworldawards.org, retrieved June 1, 2018
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^ a b c Gans, Andrew.
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2010-11 "Theatre World Award Winners Announced - Barkin, Hemingway, Larroquette, Miller, Quinto, Sheldon, 'Motherf**cker' & More" broadwayworld.com, May 10, 2011.
^ a b Lloyd Webber, Imogen.
"Ramin Karimloo, Zachary Levi & Chris O'Dowd Among 2014 Theatre World Award Winners" broadway.com, May 6, 2014
^ a b Viagas, Robert.
"Broadway Siblings Megan and Robert Fairchild Among 71st Annual Theatre World Award Winners" playbill.com, May 5, 2015
"Past Recipients". Theatre World Awards. Archived from the original on October 4, 2015 . Retrieved 2015.
"Past Recipients" theatreworldawards.org, accessed May 2, 2015
^ a b c d e f g
"Theatre World Award Recipients". Theatre World Awards (official site). Archived from the original on March 19, 2012 . Retrieved 2012.
Andrew Gans (May 11, 2009). "Billy Boys, Gwynne, Ireland, Rush and Grisetti Among Theatre World Award Winners". playbill.com . Retrieved 2016.
^ Viagas, Robert.
"71st Annual Theatre World Award Announced Today - Chita Rivera Earns Lifetime Achievement Honor" playbill.com, May 5, 2015
^ Gans, Andrew.
"Theatre World Awards Announce 2016 Winners" playbill.com, May 2, 2016
^ BWW News Desk.
"Breaking: Stars from 'Great Comet', 'Anastasia', 'Miss Saigon' & More Earn 2017 Theatre World Awards!" BroadwayWorld.com, May 11, 2017